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Local volunteer presents electronic bill process to Ellicottville Town Board

By Ginna Hensel 

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Ellicottville Town Board held Sept. 18 began with a presentation by Mark Reinhard, a local who volunteers at Holiday Valley and owns a software company in Buffalo, Concepts 2 Code. Reinhard helps companies convert from paper bills to online bills.

Reinhard’s goal is to help Ellicottville save money on postage and paper costs. Basically, members of the community would go online to view and pay their water and sewage bills instead of receiving a paper bill in the mail.

Reinhard was adamant that no one would be forced to switch over. However, he did point out that if 200 residents switched to online payments, the town would save about $800. Seeing this as an ongoing discussion, Reinhard wants no monetary compensation for his work. He hopes that if approved, he would be able to use Ellicottville as a future reference. Reinhard feels that this is a good change for the community.  

The idea was met with some concerns from the town board and the public. The board was worried about the security of the website and if people would dodge paying their bills. Reinhard assured the board that their website is secure and there are measures to ensure people are paying their bills.

The concept is a work in process. It is still pending approval from both the town and village boards. The town board plans to continue discussions in a future meeting.  

After the presentation, Town Supervisor Mathew McAndrew took a few moments to mention the passing of a previous mayor of Ellicottville, Paul Stokes, who passed away at the beginning of last week at age 90.

McAndrew and the board also discussed the possibility of shared services between the town of Ellicottville and Cattaraugus County. Some of the proposed services include a joint copier lease, human resource training, DPW purchase on county bids and reassessment training. The board appears to be in favor of DPW purchase on county bids, which would give Ellicottville money back on the difference on any payment made on a DPW bid vs what an outside town would have paid.

The board also discussed the possibility of splitting the cost of a bucket truck with the village. The village board recently passed a resolution that would allow the village to split the cost of a bucket truck with the town. The town board has some concerns over this such as how much it is needed, the plan for storage and the maintenance fees. No resolution was acted upon and the board plans to continue this discussion at a later meeting.  

IN OTHER BUSINESS, Tom Scharf, head of the Highway Department, brought a new idea to the board. Scharf feels that two part-time help for 2nd shift snowplow help will be needed for the upcoming winter season. The shift will last from 1 to 9:30 p.m. The pay will be $18 an hour.

If there is no snow to plow, the help will be expected to help with other maintenance work. The work will fall within the budget of the Highway Department. The board approved the resolution passed to add two 2nd shift part-time snowplow help. Details will be hashed out at a later time. 

Scharf also brought to the board’s attention the continued problem of speeding in work zones.  Scharf feels that people are not following the posted speed limit and are putting his crew’s lives in danger. This serves a friendly reminder to please slow down when you approach a work zone.  

The board also acted on a resolution to waive the marriage fee of any active military personnel. The state currently waived the current fee, which encouraged the board to also waive the fee.  

As for old business, the ongoing disagreement of 28 Parkside Drive between the board and the Cornell Cooperative Extension is still ongoing. Negotiations between both parties are still occurring. In addition, there has been a good amount of progress made on the EVGV trail. It is reported that it will be finished by winter. 

The last piece of business was the appointment of Tim Zerfas to the Town Planning Board, as long as there is no conflict with his father being on the Town Board.

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