Portland Supervisor sets goals for 2013

BROCTON – The Portland Town Council opened its regular meeting by outlining their goals for 2013 and adopting their reorganization and procurement policies for the year.

“Our goals for 2013 include continuing to work on the Bicentennial Celebration; final completion of Water District 7; actively working on a solution for the Peerless Street Bridge; resolving the problem of the highway garage floor; researching, with the Town of Pomfret and West Town of Dunkirk, ways to correct the water problems along Route 5; and of course researching shared service opportunities as a way to reduce costs in the town while providing the best possible services to our taxpayers,” reported Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz.

While that seems like a tall order for the town, some of the items have been ongoing agenda items at previous meetings, and the council had updates concerning a few of those goals.

“Regarding the Peerless Street Bridge, it looks like after what has come in, a three sided box culvert will have to be the way to go. In order to hold the weight, an aluminum arch would have to be constructed too high for what we would want. Once total cost estimates come back, the board will have to decide, approve and finalize the plans and then send everything to the Corps of Engineers and DEC, and hopefully by spring we can be ready to go,” stated Schrantz.

He also reported that meetings are taking place with representatives from Clark Patterson Lee to continue talks about a possible water line to run from Dunkirk to the Town of Portland, as well as cost sharing measures to equally distribute the expense of adequately chlorinating running water along that route.

Final restoration work for the settlement of Water District 7 is anticipated to be complete after spring begins, according to Schrantz, which will allow the council to finally close the project off.

In other matters, with council committee members shuffled for the New Year, Schrantz announced that councilmen Gary Miller and Al Valentin will continue meeting with Village of Brocton leaders to continue working on the push toward a joint billing system to coexist between the town and village water billing systems.

With a townwide ambulance district now in place, the supervisor also reported that fire contracts for the year have been legally signed and submitted to appropriate state departments. Attorney Mark Butler, who assisted in the process of establishing the district, indicated to Schrantz that a future merger between fire departments could still take place rather easily if that was something both entities wanted to continue with.

“I’m not sure what the next steps of that would be, but that would certainly be between the village and the acting fire commissioners,” added the supervisor.

Acting on advice from their financial adviser, the council moved to establish a reserve fund Wednesday in order to account for and track donations to the Historical Museum. Councilman Al Valentin reported that sales of the annual historical calendar have been more than anticipated and that he hopes to see that trend, as well as donations to the museum continue.

The council will meet again on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Portland Town Hall.