Taking the lead

Getting better water pressure to the city of Dunkirk’s west end – and points beyond in both directions – took two steps forward Tuesday.

Common Council unanimously passed resolutions approving the city being the lead applicant for a Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation grant application; along with awarding the bid for the city’s west end 12-inch water main cleaning and relining project.

Patrick Brennan, the lead consultant on the CBRDC’s north county water project was welcomed to the meeting by Mayor Anthony J. Dolce.

“We appreciate you taking the time to come down and answer any questions that do arise during the resolution time,” Dolce said. “We are ready to take on the role of lead applicant. I know we’ll be making the modification to the resolution. I’d just like to reiterate that this is the first step, or another step, in what is a very lengthy process.”

While Brennan was not called on by council, the resolution approving the city’s taking the lead in applying for the $400,000 in 2013 Local Government Efficiency Grant Program funding was amended prior to final passage.

The city, towns of Dunkirk, Pomfret, Portland and Sheridan; along with the villages of Brocton and Fredonia are part of the CBRDC and are all co-applicants. The CBRDC recently passed a resolution in support of the grant application and will supply the matching 10 percent, or $40,000, required of the total grant. Council’s amendment removed the city’s obligation to pay a share of any local balance needed. The amendment stated that “the city of Dunkirk shall not be responsible for any portion of the local share whether directly or through an assessment to the CBRC or CBRDC.”

After the meeting Brennan said the grant application deadline is March 13 with grants usually awarded in the fall. He was asked about a time frame, if all goes well, for completion of project.

“I can’t speak to the end date, if you will, I can only speak to the nature of this next step that we’re taking with regard to the grant application. … This will allow us to continue developing the master plan, the engineering for this entire regional project,” he replied. “We will be able to determine exactly, closely projecting the total cost for the buildout of this regional project, but these are phases. … Having worked on a number of regional water and sewer projects throughout New York, this is common, and we never want to look too far out and commit to an end date when there are a lot of details that continue to be worked out. But with this grant application being submitted, and hopefully a successful award this fall, these communities in northern Chautauqua County have taken a great leap forward.”

Dolce said he was excited the resolution passed after the work and time put into it.

“As I’ve said throughout, this is just another step in a very long process in hoping to see this project become a reality,” he added. “As far as the city’s perspective, as everyone knows we will be investing approximately $17 million to do upgrades to our own water treatment facility. Going to a regional approach only helps to benefit the long-term benefit of our own city residents and all of northern Chautauqua County, including industry. It all goes back to becoming more efficient and ways that you can do that. I think this is one of those ways. Again, I caution, this is an extremely long process. A lot of pieces have to come together to make this work but we are in full support of this project and doing what we can to be the lead.”

As for the other water-related resolution, Mainlining Service, Inc. of Elma was the lowest of four bids for the relining project at $536,678.

“This is part of the consent order, it’s never been done,” Gugino explained. “And this was part of the forward thinking that involved the discussion of the future. This also is an integral part in getting the city of Dunkirk poised for whatever future needs are put on the water filtration plant in the city for providing filtered water.”

“This was the project that (state Sen. Catharine Young) was able to hold on to the $250,000 grant that will be applied to this,” Dolce added.

Dolce said later this project will be messy but there shouldn’t be any interruption of service. He added the waterline project will provide increased fire protection, increased service and better pressure for city residents; along with the increased pressure helping those non-city customers already supplied by the current waterline.

“So now past the city line they can work to upgrade that, or maybe it falls in under part of the Chadwick Bay project and it’s a shared cost,” Dolce added.