By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Ellicottville’s Board was encouraged Wednesday evening by a presentation from Dennis Fisher, Customer Relationship Manager of the State’s Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS). Fisher reported that the town once more has a 100 percent Equalization (EQ) Rate for 2013-14. The EQ rate is a measure used by the state to ensure that municipalities assess properties at full market value in order to equitably distribute school and county taxes. A 100 percent EQ rate is the gold standard of EQ rates.

In addition to the presentation from ORPTS, the board was updated on a number of projects by Supervisor John Burrell.

Burrell reported that the new courtroom at the Extension Service Building is nearing completion and renovations of the auditorium are going smoothly. The budget will not allow for complete renovation of the restrooms in the building, however Burrell is pursuing outside funding in order to make those and other potential renovations.

Burrell also reported that he had received a letter from the Teamsters giving notice that the union intends to amend its bargaining agreement by the end of the year.

Highway Department Head Dave Golley said that his department has been very busy digging ditches, cutting shoulders, patching potholes and keeping up with other summer projects.

Town Engineer Mark Alianello reported that the Glen Burn subdivision infrastructure construction is moving along and the Tim Horton’s restaurant is officially under construction.

He also gave an update on the East Tank project. Alianello and other officials are proposing to change the location of the tank from a site on a steep hill behind the Extension Service Building to another location around the other side of that hill. Construction at the proposed new site would be simpler, the tank would not be visible from the village, and the tank would only rise 20 feet above ground, compared to a much taller tank at the other location. While there are many decision makers involved in the project, Burrell proposed that, for timing reasons, the board agree to promote the new site as the best location and to proceed from there.

The board also discussed the merits of a steel vs. concrete tank. Board member John Northrup suggested that the decision on the type of tank should be determined after bids are received and that the first action must be to decide on the site. The board agreed.

Board member Ken Hinman updated the board on the status of the proposed recreational trail. An open house held at the Extension Service Building on June 11 was a great success, he said. A good crowd attended the event to learn more about plans and peruse maps of proposed routes.

“Community support is strong,” he said.

Hinman also noted that, after much discussion with consultants and grant writers, the Trail Committee has learned it will need a government entity to serve as both sponsor and applicant for all grant proposals related to the trail. The board agreed that the Town of Ellicottville, at no cost to it or taxpayers, will serve as that entity.

The next meeting of the Town Board will be held on Wednesday, July 17 at 6 p.m.