Regional water discussions continue

The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation’s Local Economic Development Executive Committee met recently with members of newly elected Congressman Tom Reed’s staff.

The meeting was highlighted by a focus on a key element of the LED Committee’s Strategic Plan for Economic Development: the regional water system that is being proposed and developed by the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation.

The regional water system is being proposed to provide water service to municipalities located within Northern Chautauqua County when it is completed.

Highlighting the meeting was a thorough presentation and exploration of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation’s Regional Water Supply Program.

Participants in the meeting included officials representing the Chadwick Bay RDC: Kathy Tampio (Execu-tive Director), Dan Schrantz (President), Rick Henry (Engineer with Clark Pat-terson Lee), and Anthony Gugino (City of Dunkirk Public Works Director). Representatives from Con-gressman Reed’s office included District Director: Joe Sempolinski, and Chau-tauqua County Representa-tive: Jacqueline Chiabot.

According to Engineer Rick Henry, “The need for a regional water supply system has become more and more apparent. As conditions currently exist individual water systems (town, village, city) are not self-supporting for the long term, nor are they sustainable to the rate payers that they serve.”

“A regional water system will provide the stability needed by pooling resources, expertise, and assets for the long-term viability of the region. The resulting reliability, quality, and cost benefits will impact everyone from major employers to small businesses to residential users,” Henry added.

The regional water system is being designed to provide sufficient capacity to service the towns and villages located on and near the Lake Erie shoreline and the City of Dunkirk when it is completed. When Congressman Reed met with constituents in Westfield on January 12, he said, “These kinds of infrastructure projects that can lead to economic development are the kinds of smart investments that our area and our nation need.”

Jay Warren, Chairman of the Local Economic Development Committee, remarked, “The private sector leadership provided by the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation LED Committee is intended to serve as a catalyst to generate policy for economic development. Our goal is to serve as an advocate for public and private investment in order to strengthen the regional economy and to create and maintain family-sustaining jobs. We look forward to joining the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation and Congressman Reed in this effort.”

The Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation was incorporated in 1986 as a tax-exempt charitable organization. Since its establishment, the NCCF has distributed over $8.7 million into the community through its various grants programs. The NCCF is committed to its mission of providing leadership and resources in addressing local challenges and opportunities. Anyone interested in learning more about the NCCF-LED Committee, can contact Diane Hannum at the Foundation offices at 366-1270, or John Jay Warren, LED Committee Chair, at 679-8654.