SILVER CREEK - Although another major employer could be leaving the Silver Creek area, Mayor Nick Piccolo is optimistic things could improve for the village.
A resident spoke at Monday's village board meeting to complain that the village's website does not showcase improvements in the village like new businesses and the projects the village has recently undertaken to improve water lines and the sewer plant.
Piccolo agreed, saying the village hopes to consolidate its two websites and begin posting more community updates plus meeting agendas and minutes.
Piccolo also reported there could be some good news for the village.
He said he has been informed that a company is interested in moving into the Petri's plant. He said the inquiry has gone as far as final negotiations on price with ConAgra, the company which owns Petri's and Carriage House.
Piccolo also reported that a new business, Little Guys pizzeria, will open on Central Avenue this week, and he encouraged the community to show its support.
"I hope everybody goes out Friday to the grand opening and supports them. We want them to stay in the village," Piccolo said.
He also said Southern Tier Environments for Living Inc. has submitted another grant application for construction of apartments at the old Silver Creek School on Main Street. Piccolo said STEL expects to hear about the status of its application by the end of the month.
Piccolo said he is also thinking ahead and has been in contact with a company which would pump out and take away the hazardous water from the old building's basement.
He said he is monitoring the closure of Lake Shore Hospital closely with state and federal officials and is anticipating a meeting with hospital officials soon.
"It is just a big, tragic thing for the area. We lost 240 jobs with Petri's closing and now we'll lose 460 if the hospital closes - that's 700 jobs and a big hit for the area and the residents. It is definitely going to affect the growth and development of the area," he said. "Hopefully, we get talks going and we can at least keep the emergency care, but hopefully we can also keep the health care services."
Piccolo described the community as "elderly" and the services the hospital provides as "vital" for the area.
"(Assemblyman) Andy Goodell is setting up a meeting and hopefully we can discuss what can be done," he said.
The board also authorized Piccolo to discuss a one-year extension of the policing contract with the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office at the rate previously set up.
Trustee Warren Kelly reported having a meeting with Wendel engineers and Visone Construction and making it a priority that holes made as a result of the water line replacement project be filled. However, he was told it is too late in the season for topsoil, grass germination or sidewalks. He said blacktop will be laid as a temporary sidewalk on streets like Babcock until spring, when a full restoration can take place.
The board also increased the sidewalk replacement reimbursement from $8 to $12 per lineal foot effective June 2014.
The highway department has put a truck out for sale and is looking for the best offer. The board approved a reserve fund transfer of $18,500 from the highway department to the water department for the interdepartmental purchase of a pickup truck.
The highway department has finished brush pickup and will begin leaf pickup on Mondays. Leaves, grass and small sticks must be place in easy-to-dump containers weighing less than 40 pounds when full, no bags or boxes.
There will be a public hearing on Local Law No. 2 of 2013 to change the fee schedule for zoning permits at the next village board meeting on Nov. 4 at 6:30 p.m.
Piccolo said Trustee Ben Peters is expected to return for the board's second meeting in November from reservist duty overseas.