By Jann Wiswall

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Town of Ellicottville’s board approved a new Local Alarm Law with revisions following some recommendations from Village Justice Jack Rogan and Fire Chief Kevin Morton at last month’s meeting. Town residents will be informed about the details of the new law through local newspapers, inserts in their annual tax bills and, for some, personal phone calls.

The law, which goes into effect on February 1, 2016, is “designed to regulate, control and establish standards for… emergency alarms which transmit a signal (electronic, audible or otherwise) that may or may not require a police or fire department response for the purposes of investigation, action or safeguarding of property at the location from which such alarm is generated.”

Its intent is to ensure that fire and police are able to contact the property owner if their alarm goes off, either due to a true emergency or a false alarm. It is also intended to reduce the number of false alarms, which are a burden on local fire and police departments.

In order to do so, the law will require property owners to obtain annual permits for their alarm systems and to keep them in good working order. It also will assess fees for false alarms.

Burrell and the board thanked fellow board member Rick Jackson and his wife, Glenda, for their work to research and draft the law with town attorney Kathleen Moriarty.

Town Supervisor John Burrell reported that most department heads have submitted their budget requests for 2016. Once all are in, the board will begin preparing a draft town budget.

Burrell also reported that Ellicottville’s Town Planner Carol Horowitz is retiring effective December 31. Burrell has asked her and other for recommendations for a replacement.

Police Officer Jim Bouchard will soon be receiving a special life-saving ribbon from Police Officer in Charge Don Auge.

Burrell explained that Bouchard discovered a person who was not breathing in a locked and stopped car that was still in gear on Washington Street in the Village. After breaking the window and putting the car in gear, Bouchard pulled the male driver to the ground and immediately started CPR. A U.S. Marshall’s officer and a nurse quickly came to Bouchard’s aid, as did several EMTs and a crew with an ambulance. The patient was revived and taken to Bertrand Chafee Hospital.

Sadly, the patient, Rodney Wagoner of Salamanca, died the following Tuesday at Buffalo General Hospital. However, Bouchard and the others who assisted “gave the patient a chance,” Burrell said. (See Letter to the Editor, page 6.)

Department Reports

Highway Department Superintendent Loyd Hovey briefed the board on an asphalt milling machine being considered for purchase by the department following a demonstration from the manufacturer. The “Asphalt Zipper” is “impressive,” Hovey said.

Burrell said that currently the department has to lease equipment for milling work. If the town had this equipment, “it probably would pay for itself just in the rental savings,” he suggested.

The equipment is available for purchase on a five-year payment plan. Depending on what size machine was purchased, payments would be $20-$25K per year.

The board will consider the purchase during the budget process.

Hovey asked the board for authorization to hire Tammie Doutt as a full-time employee of the Highway Department. Doutt had been a seasonal employee. The board approved the request effective November 1 at her current rate of pay.

At last month’s meeting, Hovey told the board that a resident had asked about placing “Children at Play” signs on a portion of Poverty Hill Road in an effort to slow traffic. At the time, the board said Hovey could install the signs if the resident paid for them. The resident agreed to do so.

Since then, however, Hovey has discussed the matter with the county sign shop manager and other highway sign experts who advise that such cautionary signs rarely have the intended effect of slowing speeders and that they can actually do more harm than good by giving children and parents a false sense of security.

The board discussed the issue and suggested that perhaps other types of traffic calming signs, such as yellow curve-ahead warning signs, etc. might have an impact. Hovey is going to research the best options.

Town Engineer Mark Alianello reported that progress is in high gear on the Holiday Valley Road realignment project. The road in front of the Tamarack Club and the Lodge is now one-lane as workers begin the final phases of construction. Eventually that road will be closed to vehicle traffic altogether.

Behind the scenes, work is equally feverish, he said, as final paperwork is prepared for the new road’s legal dedication by Holiday Valley to the Town and abandonment of the old section of Holiday Valley Road as a town road. A ribbon cutting for the new road and formal dedication is being planned for Tuesday, Oct. 6. Further details are to come.

Alianello also reported National Fuel is replace gas lines under Upper Road. This will delay the highway department’s plans for road repairs there.