Trash Service Bids to be Requested

By Jann Wiswall

The Ellicottville Village Board met on Monday, Jan. 12 for its first meeting of 2015 and was able to cross one ongoing issue off its list: completion of the new water mains and lines serving homes along Madison Street and other areas in the municipal water district. Resident Jack Rogan, who has attended numerous board meetings over the past year to track the project’s progress, reported that so far, the water coming into his home is “pretty good” and thanked the village public works crew for their hard work.

In other public works business, DPW Chief Harold Morton reported that one plow will be going in for repairs this week. Fortunately, he said, the weather is “giving us a break,” so there shouldn’t be any impact on residents.

The DPW crew has installed all but 18 of the last 69 sewer meters that were delayed while waiting for vacation homeowners to be in town to provide access to their homes. Morton said he hopes to have the rest installed soon.

Morton also said his crew has marked the locations of all sewer mains and laterals in the new WestMont Ridge development at HoliMont to allow National Grid to begin burying electrical lines.

Building, Zoning, Engineering Reports

Mayor Charlie Coolidge reported that the village is continuing its research on changing the fee schedule for building demolition and is looking at other municipalities’ processes for options. He expects to present those options to the board for review in the next few weeks.

Coolidge also noted that the board now has a draft of proposed changes to the village’s comprehensive zoning plan for review, which also is being reviewed by the village planning board.

In response to the board’s concerns that some developers and builders have skirted some planning board requirements, Coolidge reported that the planning board and building inspector have instituted a new process for issuing certificates of occupancy (C of Os). Going forward, the chair of the planning board will confirm that conditions placed on the project by the board have been met to the board’s satisfaction before a C of O is issued. If a condition has not been met, the developer/builder will be given a deadline for its completion. If completed, the C of O may then be issued.

As often happens at this time of year in Ellicottville, the issue of parking in the village was discussed. Board members noted that there have been complaints about the Village Centre (Kwik Fill) lot filling up, leaving customers with few other options. It was noted that, in discussions with the developer as the Armor Inn was being proposed, additional parking for the restaurant was to be designated in the Wingate Hotel lot. No restricted parking signs have yet been installed.

Nick Dobmeier, a representative from Nussbaumer & Clarke, reported that the State Department of Environmental Conservation has approved the firm’s request for an extension on its deadline to submit final engineering drawings for the village’s wastewater treatment plant. The firm now has until Feb. 6 to submit those plans.

New Business

Coolidge asked the board for approval to go out to bid this month on village trash collection service. The current provider, Modern, has a contract through August. However, the budget for 2015-16 must be completed by June 30. In order to have accurate numbers in the budget, he would like to have a new three-year contract in place. The board approved the request.

Regarding the budget, Coolidge said he is developing a draft that will stay within the 2 percent cap requested by the state. While he expects to propose an increase to the street repair budget, he will also propose some cuts and will not include a salary increase for the mayor’s position. He hopes to have a working draft for the board to review at its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m. in the town/village hall.