Village & Town to Survey Residents/Visitors
Story by John Thomas
Waste Disposal Contract
Village Mayor John Burrell opened the Village Board of Trustees meeting with the good news that the new sidewalk plow will be delivered this week. The mayor introduced a representative from Cassella waste disposal; the Village’s disposal company. She said the current three-year contract will be up at the end of May. The company is offering a two-year extension at the current rates. She said over the past three years the Village’s amounts of trash had been going up and their costs to dispose of the refuse had increased. She said if residents separate their recyclables from their trash, the company is conscientious to see that recyclables get recycled and not deposited in the land fill. A motion was made to accept the extension. Trustee Cappelli asked if it was proper to accept the extension without putting the contract out for bid. Village Attorney Kathleen Moriarty said she would check with NYCOM regarding the need for requesting bids.
Mayor Burrell said his trip to Albany for the Mayor’s Conference was “pretty intense.” The Mayor had been named to the Finance Committee and one of the new policy committees. He attended a speech by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and a reception at the Governor’s Mansion where he shook hands with Governor Cuomo. He had meetings with State Senator Catharine Young and Assemblyman Joe Giglio. The Village and Town are working together to create a survey to guide the board on the future of the two municipalities. Trustee Cappelli said they had worked with the grant writer for the entities to come up with questions that will gauge residents and visitors feeling as to how Ellicottville should grow. They distributed copies of the survey to the board. A sample question: In planning for economic development in Ellicottville, which one do you believe requires the greatest focus? There are multiple choice answers on the survey. The questionnaire will be mailed to residents, will be on the Town/Village web site, and also on surveymonkey.com. There will also be a special meeting to have discussions and gain additional input. The dates are Thursday, March 22nd at 6:00 pm, Saturday, March 24th at 10:00 am, and Saturday, April 14th at 6:00 pm. All meetings will be at Town Center, 28 Parkside Drive. The Mayor said the new Town/Village Engineer Niles Pierson will be in town on the 22nd and 23rd of this month for meetings. The department reports were accepted as submitted.
Gary Palumbo reported the Zoning Code amendments are ready for review. The Mayor mentioned the special meeting organized by Spencer Murry went well and was very worthwhile. Mr. Palumbo said no changes to the sidewalk signs codes are anticipated.
Nick Dobmeier reported he submitted the plans for the sludge removal to the NYSDEC for approval. Unfortunately, the person who will do the review has suffered a personal tragedy (his son died), and Dobmeier did not know how long the review will take. The engineer reported he made a presentation to the New York Water Environment Association conference. He described the challenges in installing the SAGR system at the Waste Water Treatment Plant. He said currently Ellicottville is the only municipality in the state with a working SAGR system.
Jigger Stokes has submitted his notification of retirement effective October 2nd of this year. The Village will need someone to take over. His replacement will need training to achieve certification. In the past, the Village has used the Town Highway Superintendent Tom Scharf to fill in for Mr. Stokes, but a permanent replacement will have to be found. Code Enforcement Officer Kelly Fredrickson reported one of the so-called zombie houses has been sold.
Mary Klahn said the meter replacement project is almost done. What started with 1952 meters to be replaced is not down to about five. Some of the meters are located inside closets or behind the clothes washer, and crews cannot move them without the owner present.
Local Law #1 for 2108
The Village will hold a public hearing regarding a new local law to reduce the number of different water rate the Village imposes. The new law will eliminate the peak period water use surcharge. The Town has only a single water rate while the Village has 44 different rates. It was suggested the Village review all the water rates. Town Clerk Mary Klahn said the Village could lose some revenue if the rates are reduced. A public hearing on the law was scheduled for next month’s board meeting. The Mayor appointed Joe DiPasquale as Deputy Mayor. He accepted, and the meeting was adjourned.