Westfield officials get update on wastewater treatment plant repairs
WESTFIELD – A local cooperative relationship was established at the meeting of the Village of Westfield’s Board of Trustees.
During the meeting Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator Andrew Thompson addressed board members in regard to bids to replace a gearbox unit on one of the plant’s basin digesters.
“The one we currently have went out a few months ago and needs a total rebuild,” he said. “We’re better off getting a new unit rather than going through a total rebuild, so we have to go out for bid.”
Trustee Chris Jaynes asked Thompson how long the plant workload could survive without the second basin’s digester unit.
“Forever, assuming the other unit doesn’t go down,” Thompson said. “But they’re all at least 35 years old.”
Jaynes also inquired if regular maintenance is performed on the equipment in order to keep it operational.
“Yes, it’s serviced like it should be,” Thompson said.
The board gave its permission to go out to bid for the digester gearbox replacement for the wastewater treatment plant.
Resident Dave Haskin said he was glad that Renold, a local business, was given the opportunity to replace the village equipment and also questioned Public Works Supervisor Ed LeBarron as to how much over the budget the West Side Pump Station Project is estimated to be.
LeBarron answered that until the project is completed, “there’s really no way to tell that.”
Haskin further questioned extra digging that allegedly took place recently as part of the project and again asked how much over budget the project stood.
LeBarron reiterated until the project goes to completion, there would be no way to state a final number and explained for one influent pipe, the engineer’s drawings and the contractor’s drawings showed two different heights for drilling to take place. An estimation mistake was not caught by LeBarron or the engineer, which caused an extra foot of pipe to be ordered to account for the mistake.
Carr asked if LeBarron felt this was a mistake on the part of the engineer.
“The numbers weren’t in the same spot on the drawings,” LeBarron said. “To say that we’re over budget at this point, we really won’t know until the end of the project.”
Trustee Dave Brooker added an estimated $100,000 has been saved on the project by providing in-kind service work for the project.
“Had we gone out to bid for that, we would’ve had to pay prevailing wage, which would’ve been more than our employees’ wages,” Carr said.
Village Treasurer Rebecca Paternosh also noted a contingency is built into the project to account for situations like these.
In other matters, the mayor acknowledged the attendance of Michael VandeVelde, who is challenging his mayoral seat in the March elections, as well as Thomas Rackowski who is seeking a Village Trustee position. Current Trustees Chris Jaynes and Rob Cochran are both seeking re-election to their terms.
Village Historian Marybelle Beigh reported to the board the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York is seeking to list as many Episcopal churches as possible, including Westfield’s, on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The mayor also updated those in attendance that the buyers of the Fireman’s Exempt Hall on Bourne Street are looking forward to centralizing their food production operation from New Castle, Pa., to Westfield. The makers of Nowinski Pierogies are currently in the final approval stages with their banking institution, according to the mayor. Electric Department Superintendent Bill Boneberg added he is continuing to work to seek additional electrical power for the plant as an incoming new business.
Recreation Director Venn Blakely reported to the board an impressive attendance of 292 youth participants from four surrounding local school districts who partook in the youth soccer program this year. Trustee Rick Raynor served as a team sponsor and Trustee Rob Cochran served as a coach in the league, which boasted as many as 30 teams.
Blakely also noted all 2012 trips in the recreation program were sellouts, and the department’s Facebook page is growing steadily with 256 “likes.’
The board will meet again on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. in the North Room of Eason Hall. There will be two public hearings, one on changing zoning laws pertaining to the service industrial district – adding studios or art galleries and removing agricultural structures, gas and oil wells and mobile home and trailer sales – as well as changing the districts boundaries around West and East Pearl streets and another to override the tax levy limit, a housekeeping measure the village passed last year as well to cover Westfield in the event of any miscalculations. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend.