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Ellicottville village board discusses joint Town, Village Water System

By Caitlin Croft

The August meeting of the Ellicottville Village Board opened with good news. The sales tax  check for approximately $105,000.00 from Cattaraugus County had been received.

“This revenue stream accounts for 45.4% of our budget, where property tax amounts to 28%,” said Mayor John Burrell.

Before the mayor’s report, a brief executive session was held to discuss work done on the water system over at the Sun-Up Mobile Home Park. After the executive session, the board approved one third of the cost of recent water meters installed amounting to $600.

The grant for a skate park in the Village Park has been officially filed with the NYS Parks and Recreation Department.

There was a meeting with Mark Reinhardt to talk about his company that provides municipalities with water and sewer billing. There was a meeting regarding drainage that has become problematic over on Madison Street Extension in addition to parking concerns.

There was a conference call with Town/Village Engineer Niles Pierson to discuss the two issues. The village board approved allowing parking only on one side of Madison Street Extension, to be determined by Pierson, as to which side yields greater parking spots.

Regarding the joint Town and Village Water System, the town is holding their public hearings and almost all of the legal work is complete. The rate schedules and intermunicipal agreements need to be completed. Burrell has asked for more time so that the board can review the IMAs and rates before final approvals.

Two officials were sent from State Sen. Kristen Gillibrand’s (D-NY) office to discuss how they can help villages and towns. The office wants the village to know they are here for it and to use them as a resource.

The Downtown Revitalization Initiative Grant that the town and village had worked diligently on was awarded to Niagara Falls. Ellicottville is going to evaluate the options on applying next year. 

There was a WNY Mayor’s Meeting with Freeport mayor Robert T. Kennedy, President of NYCOM. He has pledged to do all he can for Upstate New York.

During the Planning Report, Trustee Spencer Murray brought up a concern regarding the pathway to opening businesses in the village. He said he feels that the process is too complicated and it needs to be streamlined. The mayor and Trustee Greg Cappelli echoed the same sentiments and feel that these issues need to be addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.

In the Engineer’s Report, it was said the Maybee Alley 6-inch water line project is complete and running smoothly. The village got a lot out of this project as Dina’s paid for all of the materials while the village supplied the time and labor.

The first installment of roughly $150,000 will finally be received from the NYSERDA Grant. This is the grant that allowed for the formation of an Engineering Department and it was on a reimbursement basis.

It was noted that cleaning at the North Well has been completed. The board approved the current summer intern to continue working remotely from RIT computer labs for 15-20 hours a week while in school.

“Everyone is very impressed with the work and level of understanding he has of our system,” Burrell said.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, it was brought up that the village was not cleaned up very well after the Taste of Ellicottville and Murray was asked to address it. There was a Fall Festival Organizational Meeting with representatives from the police, fire and emergency service departments in attendance.

There was discussion on the local garbage law and the need to revamp it as it’s very much outdated.

The board approved the purchase of Weebly add on with the website so Water and Sewer funds can be collected from a cellular device. As of right now the program only accepts online payments from a desktop, and with most wanting to pay from a phone there have been many complaints. This option by sharing the cost with the town has actually made it less expensive with a greater added value of the program.

Finally, the board reiterated that the Village Justice Court officially ceased operations as of July 31.

The next meeting of the Ellicottville Village Board is scheduled for Sept. 16 at 6 p.m at the Town/Village Hall.

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