By Caitlin Croft
The Aug. 23 Ellicottville Town Board Meeting opened with two very interesting presentations, the first from Laura Flanagan, Director and Librarian at the Ellicottville Memorial Library. The library has become about so much more than borrowing books and DVDs. There were over 400 different classes offered last year, most of which were free! There is a meeting room that is used for things such as tutoring and group projects… maybe a great place to meet and work on that start up business you have always wanted to pursue. They have discounted or free passes to many area museums. Right now, you can get WiFi outside of the building when the library is closed and soon they will have a new booster in place so that WiFi will reach the parking lot. There was so much more to the presentation, but I urge you to stop in and check it out for yourself.
The second presentation was from Richard Zink of Southern Tier West, Regional Planning and Development Board regarding the Broadband Phase III. Zink shared where the NYS Broadband Effort was currently at and his concerns with Phase III of the project. Right now, the state is accepting Applications for work to be done up until Aug. 31. What concerns Zink is the few areas of Ellicottville that may not get bid on for Phase III. He feels they may try to blanket it and offer satellite as an alternative, which we all know is not good enough for today’s needs. Zink urges the town to be as flexible as possible with permit and process fees to be more attractive to the bidding companies. Zink also urges the underserved areas to start calling Spectrum and ask when they will get internet. He also advised if anyone has questions on what they can do to ensure broadband to all of Ellicottville to give him a call at Southern Tier West.
The board thanked both Flanagan and Zink for their presentations and continued with the meeting.
The board made a motion to accept the July 2017 Financial Report; there was a second and it was passed.
At the Four Flushers meeting, the inventory of all town mechanics was discussed. The Water and Sewer Inventory is almost complete, finishing up on man-holes, hydrants and valves. This inventory also is considering the age, size and condition of all the equipment so that a master plan for updating can be most effectively put into place. Right now, much of the town piping was built before 1997. The next step will be mapping the report so that it is ready to be entered into a GIS mapping system.
The Village is moving forward with their Sludge Removal Project. Jessie and Jigger received training, took the test and passed. The village now feels they have enough experience to obtain the certification.
Resumes are coming in for the joint Town and Village Public Works Position and will be accepted until Aug. 25. The following week, the review process will begin and interviews will commence shortly after.
The project on the new Evidence and Locker Room is currently on hold because they are waiting on electric.
Booster Station No. 1 had its start up last week. It went well with a few small glitches. One, for example, was a communication problem. The communications are run off radio signals and it just took a re-route of the signal to fix the problem.
The culvert inventory has been completed. This inventory considered the condition of the pipe, if it was undersized, the importance of the road and traffic volumes. This is another great tool to be used in the master plan for the Town and will also be entered into the GIS mapping system.
Don Auge thanked the community effort in the fire response at Kwik Fill. He said it was great to see the community come together and businesses as far as Dom’s Butcher Block were running fire extinguishers over to the scene.
The Sommerville Valley Rock Stabilization Bid was awarded to Bill Bognar of Little Valley. There was a total of four bids. The council made a motion to accept Bognar’s bid; there was a second and it passed.
Also, the Town has oil and chipped two times more roads this summer and is even starting on roads that were planned to be done in 2018.
A letter was drafted to the county considering the surveying of the Valley Village community to address the transfer of ownership and maintenance of the road.
Regarding the $50,000 grant that the town has been awarded, they must now pick the project which fits the criteria NYS has put forth.
The new Town Hall HVAC system seems to be up and running smooth.
The Council made a motion to approve up to $5,000 to be spent on an energy audit of the town buildings. This will aid the town in the future.
The Council made a motion to accept Tom Abriatis’s resignation for Aug. 31, 2017. There was a second and the council passed the motion. There were several comments from the council on what an excellent job Tom has done over the years.
In old business, the Ellicottville Great Valley Trail is moving forward. The wet lands scientist has put in an application to the Army Corps of Engineers. The Army Corps of Engineers now want the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to sign off on the project and SHPO is requiring a Phase I Architectural Study. The board is hoping the county will survey for the easements. Despite these small obstacles, the project is still moving forward.
There is a new Town Hall Open Door Policy. The building will be open every day from 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. except for Fall Festival, Mardi Gras and Rock and Roll weekends.
The Town Board received a letter from the Relay for Life thanking them for their donation.
The next meeting of the Town Board will be Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.