The letter the Village Board sent to the residents on Creek Road was meant as an update and a warning of where things are right now with the water system in Forestville. The thing that has changed is the village is not able to replace the mains that run up that road.
The price tag on replacing those mains was $900,000 and there were not sufficient funds in the loan to include this. There were parts of the project in the village that could not be included either.
The original petition by the Creek Road residents was done under the assumption that the mains would be replaced and a district would be formed to maintain those pipes in the future. Essentially, the districting will have to start over and be done properly by including the townships involved, with Forestville supplying water to the proposed district using the existing mains.
The Chautauqua County Department of Health has given the residents on Creek Road a six-month grace period to either form the new water district or find another source of water for their property. After that time the springs in Arkwright will have to be abandoned and dismantled, rendering them unusable as a public water source. I was told by the Chautauqua County Department of Health this was in the original loan agreement when Forestville got the money to do the water project.
In addition to being a trustee, dealing with the situation at hand, I am a property owner on Creek Road. I share the hardship residents will face, but I can't change what has happened.
I can only try to work with what is in front of me and make the best of it. Therefore, I am going to call for an informational meeting about the Creek Road water supply. This informational meeting should involve those residents affected by forming a water district for those residents on Creek Road and should include representatives from the towns of Hanover, Sheridan, and Arkwright. I will ask the engineering firm to come and be available to answer questions and give advice on what options are available.
I will announce the date, time and place of this hearing at the next regular Village Board meeting.
Kevin L. Johnson is deputy mayor of Forestville.