By Caitlin Croft 

The June meeting of the Ellicottville Village Board opened with good news. Two checks were received from the county, one totaling $99,307.54 for the County Sales Tax Distribution and the second in the amount of $4,203.80 for the County Mortgage Tax Distribution.

Mayor John Burrell noted that the village is lucky to receive these distribution checks because a county such as Allegany that does not have a city needs to raise these funds via property taxes, which Ellicottville does not have to.

The distribution to the village is based on our property tax assessments. Because the value of homes is higher in Ellicottville, the village gets a bigger portion of that money collected by the county.

Next, there was discussion on the minutes from last month’s meeting regarding the public hearing on Short Term Rentals. Trustee Spencer Murray said they should only include in the minutes the facts and not people’s suggestions or opinions. He wants the hard facts of how many in attendance, how many spoke and was the majority for or against the matter.

The village attorney advised that the village needs a high quality recorder for the meetings and that way they can be referenced back on if necessary. The minutes would essentially be a good outline of the meetings with the proper motions and discussion topics.

At the end of the meeting, an executive session was held regarding the Short Term Rentals change, but no action came of it.

In his report, Burrell said the DRI Grant Application has been filed and the formal presentation will be given in Buffalo on July 8. There are 10 municipalities who have entered in for the grant and will present their plan as well. Copies of the grant application are available at the Village Clerk’s office. The village and town Joint Water District is coming along and the two municipalities are getting closer to a resolution. 

The Engineering Report included discussion regarding the Baseball Grant. The village is waiting on a corrected invoice from the vendor who did the work in order to properly balance the books for year end.

There was a meeting with Joe Crimi of NY Power Authority regarding the LED Street Light Conversion. The board, in conjunction with Town/Village Engineer Niles Pierson, has yes to decide whether the village will convert the lights for a small upfront cost and long term savings or spend roughly $106,000 to purchase the light poles and see a greater long term savings after the project has paid for itself. The only issue with the latter option is that the village needs other municipalities to join in for the project to be feasible.

The new Lagoon Masters are in and installed. Ellicottville is the first municipality in the state to have this type of equipment at a wastewater treatment facility. There will be a large energy savings as the new machine is much more efficient than the old machinery.

There will be a new water main installed along Maybee Alley. This is due to Dina’s opening a banquet facility, and in order to tap into the system they would need to bore under Route 219. The project materials are being purchased by Dina’s and the labor will be done for the village. This is a great upgrade to the system and a win/win for all parties involved.

There was a meeting regarding the proposed Skate Park in the village which was well attended. There will be a barbeque fundraiser on Friday, June 21 from 4-8 p.m. for National Skate Day. There will be tee shirts available for sale, a can drive and donations accepted. The project has taken on a life of its own and organizers are currently applying for a $150,000 grant, which the municipality would need to guarantee 10 percent of, or $15,000.

Trustee Patra Lowes noted that with soccer about to start, the village needs to get the parking delineated and for coaches and parents to be reminded not to park on the fence side of Parkside Drive.

A real estate salesperson approached the board regarding a piece of land in the village for a parking structure. The owner in the past wanted too much money for a parking structure to be economically feasible but is now willing to come down in price. The board appreciated the information and advised if the DRI Grant is received then this is something to look at then. 

The next meeting of the village board will be Monday, July 15 at 6 p.m. at the Village/Town Hall.