The Chautauqua County Legislature will not have the support of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation - at least not yet. The CBRDC voted to table the resolution in support of establishing a county water agency at its most recent meeting.
The board had a motion to support a county water agency on the agenda but the resolution was tabled after Steve Neratko, Dunkirk development director, made a motion to table the matter.
"Our (city) council would like to have the chance to discuss and have conversations with Chadwick Bay and everyone involved prior to this resolution being approved," he said.
Neratko said when city council previously approved a resolution supporting a CBRDC grant opportunity, they wanted additional information. He said that request was not supported however. Mayor Anthony J. Dolce had his own concerns about further rate negotiations.
"How would we work through the conflict of me sitting on this board, possibly with a council member, negotiating rates as part of this agency with the city ... I think that's another avenue we have to sort through," Dolce said.
The county water agency could borrow $1.2 million to move forward with a north county water district which would "enable the conversations to evolve into precisely what is the specific engineering plan, what is the county water district," according to County Executive Gregory Edwards. Edwards said before an agency were to develop, all the municipalities involved have to be comfortable moving forward.
"It's certainly sensible to have all the players fully comfortable with the members, with the process and how this is going to develop," Edwards said.
Since Edwards was in attendance at the meeting, Patrick Brennan, consultant with Brennan Associates, said a consent order and the political courage of Edwards helped with the success of CBRDC. Edwards congratulated the organization on their successes thus far and said the board needs to keep moving forward.
"Chadwick Bay has been something that has been very important. It really set the stage. ... Your record of success has been tremendous. You have good people around the table," he said.
Brennan also addressed the issue of the village of Fredonia not wanting to participate in a regional water district. He said the CBRDC is still presenting information to Fredonia in case the village would want to opt in sometime in the future.
Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo and Hanover Councilman Kevin O'Connell had questions about their respective municipalities and had a shared concern of a current water contract. Both the village of Silver Creek and the town of Hanover receive their water through the Erie County Water Authority and still have several years left in the contract. Both men said to break the contract would be very expensive.
O'Connell said Hanover is in favor of the project but they need to do what is best for town residents and need more information on the project. Piccolo had concerns about a water line going through the town of Sheridan connecting to both municipalities in the east. He also had questions about the current water lines in Silver Creek feeding in the opposite direction.
"Even if the water lines come to Silver Creek, what do we have to do to pump the system, meters, pits ... For us to redirect the water - our water flow comes in to our water plant from the town (of Hanover) and Erie County - basically we have to find a way to reverse feed on our two towers plus our pumping station," Piccolo said.
In other business, the CBRDC submitted a consolidated funding application for 20 percent of the costs for a water district. The CFA application was ranked 20 out of 20 points and is only ranked second behind a project submitted by University at Buffalo, according to Brennan. Announcements on the CFA application should be finalized in December.
The board also talked about amending dues. Changing dues to an all-equal rate of $1,600 was discussed. Each board member will go back to their respective municipal boards and see what the general consensus is of doubling the current dues.
The CBRDC will meet on Nov. 14.
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