HUGHEYalleyBy Jann Wiswall

Ellicottville Mayor Charlie Coolidge was welcomed back by the Village Board on Monday, Dec. 9, after a health-related absence kept him from attending November’s meeting.

Change to Local Law: His first action at the meeting was to open a second public hearing in as many months on the proposed amendment to Local Law #4 to change Hughey Alley to a one-way street from east to west between Monroe and Jefferson streets.

During last month’s meeting, the first public hearing was held. Several members of the community pointed out logistical problems with the proposed plan and took part with the board in brainstorming alternatives that would meet the board’s goal to improve pedestrian safety at the intersection of Hughey Alley and Monroe Street. At the end of that hearing, the board asked Department of Public Works Head Harold Morton to obtain estimates for flashing lights as an alternative and the issue was tabled.

At the December meeting, Morton reported that the requested solar lighting estimate came in at $2,500. However, he said there is not enough sunlight at the intersection to keep the lights powered. The board brainstormed more ideas, but all were rejected for practical reasons. Mayor Coolidge suggested tabling the issue once again until further research can be completed. The board agreed.

Regular Board Business: Morton reported that his department had completed most leaf pickup before the first snow of November. The department also installed Christmas lights along Washington and Monroe streets, set up the village Christmas tree, repaired a water line on Route 219 near the Ilex Inn and repaired a water leak on a Fillmore Street service line. Trucks were winterized and readied for snow season in time for the first snows.

Board member Bob Brogcinski asked Morton about the status of water meter installations. Morton replied that all but one water meter has been installed in the village and about three-quarters of the town’s meters have been installed. The remaining 300 meters must be installed in vacation homes. The department is working on setting up times with owners and real estate management companies to get into those homes.

Morton also reported that the sewer department completed numerous dig requests, conducted all regular maintenance, made some needed repairs and completed various winterizing activities.

Village Constable Howard Gifford said his department issued 14 vehicle and traffic summonses and four verbal warnings during November. He issued two open container citations, dealt with two criminal mischief complaints, answered three security alarms, responded to one noise complaint and assisted with one ambulance call. In addition, four parking tickets were issued.

Jim Campolong of engineering firm Nussbaumer & Clark represented Village Engineer Mike Smith, who was unable to attend. Campolong reported that the survey has been completed for the East Tank project and that soil borings at the site will be completed this week. He also reported that the village continues to make progress identifying and documenting water leaks and that there has been consistent reduction in water loss.

Campolong said that the New York State Department of Transportation improvement projects, due to begin in the spring, are on track. These projects include installation of a sidewalk along Route 242 from HoliMont to the village, improvement of the Fillmore/Elizabeth/Route 219 intersection and improvement of several pedestrian ramps at village intersections.

Board member Patra Lowes, who also chairs the Village Special Events Committee, said that she and board member Greg Cappelli have asked Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden and several other community members to meet to determine how to fund village Christmas lights in the future. This has become an issue as lights continually wear out and trees grow and require more lights. Cappelli said the goal of the meetings is to determine what should be done, how much it will cost and who’s going to pay for it.

New Business: Coolidge said that DPW will need a new pickup truck in June. Morton has received a bid from Emerling Ford, which can be accepted without getting additional bids because Emerling has a state bid number. The village needs to get the appropriate paperwork from Emerling before it can authorize the purchase.

The next meeting of the Village Board will be held on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.