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Village of Ellicottville continues discussion of solar zoning laws

By Ginna Hensel

During the Ellicottville Village Board meeting of Nov. 18, Mayor John Burrell shared good news, informing the board that the village has received an engineering grant check for $69,413.30 and a County Sales Tax Check for $112,084.24.

In his Mayor’s report, Burrell updated the board on the WNY Southtowns Scenic By-Way Meeting in Ellicottville held on Nov. 12. Burrell reported the meeting was “well attended” and the Chamber of Commerce showed outstanding leadership to help continue with the process. The interpretive signs being planned by the WNY Southtowns Scenic By-Way committee has been an ongoing conversation between the committee and the village.

The village and committee hope to establish two signs: one in Ellicottville and one in Ashford.  The Chamber of Commerce recently updated its website and Facebook page to contain information on the interpretive signs which has resulted in more attention.  

Burrell also updated the board on a CCMOA meeting in Allegany. He informed the board that District Attorney Lori Reiman was present, who updated members and leaders of Cattaraugus County there were 14 new laws passed by New York state that will affect our local legal proceedings. Most of the changes coincide with bail, such as how it is set and enforced. Burrell suspects the new laws may affect the local police departments.  

Towner Planner Gary Palumbo updates the board on his monthly planning report, including the ongoing discussion of Solar Permits. The town of Ellicottville has been working diligently to create a new amendment to include Solar Zoning. Palumbo and the village attorney have been working together to address a possible amendment for the village along with a different type of application to help expedite the process.

This update was met with concern from the board with concerns and questions. Members of the board questioned how prepared the village was for an amendment. Concerns included avoiding loopholes, creating specifications and just avoiding conflicts overall. This topic is ongoing and will be discussed in a future meeting.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, Engineer Niles Pierson gave his report to the board where Board Member Gary Cappelli also raised concern to Pierson about a light out on Donlin Drive. Cappelli stated the light has been out for “quite some time” and several members of the community have commented to him.  Pierson plans to contact National Grid about the light.  

Also in his report, Pierson explained the upcoming changes with water and sewer regulations.  There was a resolution passed to accept new Sewer Service Regulations and new Water Service Regulations. In these new regulations, there were very few changes. The village of Ellicottville will be in charge of sewer services for the town and village of Ellicottville while the town of Ellicottville will be in charge of the water services for the town and village.  

The last major point in his report was Pierson updated the Board on the new sewer truck purchased by the village. The sewer truck has a camera that can be fed into a manhole to help operators look into any issues with the piping along with other more advanced features. The village and the Little Valley agreed to allow the use of the new sewer truck when Little Valley needs it and, in return, Little Valley will allow the village to use their bucket truck when they need it. Pierson also presented the highest bid of the old sewer truck at $1,500. Since the highest bid is about what the truck is worth, the board passed a resolution to accept that bid. Burrell commented on the long life of the old sewer truck. He said the truck actually began its life as a snowplow and was “reimagined” through hard work into a sewer truck.

Special Events Correspondent Spencer Murray updated board on the 2019 Fall Festival Wrap-up Meeting held Oct. 29. Murray commented this year’s Fall Fest was successful as participation was up, vendor participation was up and the number of arrests decreased. It was an overall success! 

As one last note, Burrell informed the board he had received a letter back from the Nowaks regarding a grievance made at a previous meeting about their deteriorating fence. No comments were made by the board about the response. 

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