Fredonia signs on for CBRDC grant application

The Fredonia Village Board made quick work of its agenda Tuesday, passing resolutions involving both long and short-range concerns.

The board agreed to participate in the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation’s effort to seek a 2013 Local Govern-ment Efficiency Imple-mentation Grant.

According to the resolution, the application will seek $400,000 in funding, with $360,000 from the grant and the other $40,000 from the Chau-tauqua County Industrial Development Agency and other sources. The city of Dunkirk has agreed to be the lead applicant with Fredonia joining the village of Brocton and the towns of Sheridan, Pomfret, Dunkirk and Portland as co-applicants.

Kathy Tampio, executive director of Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation, addressed the board prior to the vote.

“I just want to say the Chadwick Bay communities are very pleased to see the village of Fredonia is going to take the next step in the creation of a regional water system for the whole northern Chautauqua County region and participating as a co-applicant in our next round of grant funding,” she stated.

“… This will take us even farther into that implementation plan and we look forward to presenting the operation plan to this board, as well as all the other municipal boards, in the very near future and get your input in things that will benefit not only the village of Fredonia, but the whole region.”

After the meeting Mayor Stephen Keefe was asked about the grant.

“That let’s them go forward to see what the implementation of the project will really look like,” Keefe replied. “It puts it in the engineers’ hands so they can project where the pipes are going to run, and where the water is going to come from and really gives us a view of where the future is.”

Keefe was asked if the village would go ahead with needed repairs.

“We’ve got some major and minor things we’ve got to deal with. We have some things to think about depending on what the timeline is on a regional project and whether it’s in the best interests of us in the village,” he replied. “We have to juggle all these things, but the best way to do it is to move forward with this grant, take a look at the finished product and see how it fits in with us and see what the savings would be to the village waterpayers.”

Tampio was pleased the resolution passed and said the next step would be to forward the resolutions from the seven communities to the state, which already has the grant application.

“I expect grant award announcements to come to us in the fall but in the meantime we’re still using the funds provided to us by the ARC grant and our lead consultant is working on finishing a draft operation plan within the next one to two months,” she stated. “Once that is complete we intend to have a large group community meeting plus a meeting with each individual board of each community participating.”

The village will be looking at billing for its ambulance service with the board authorizing the hiring of a Williamsville law firm regarding legal services for ambulance billing. The firm of Mark C. Butler would be paid up to $8,000 unless the board approved more funding.

“We’re still at the investigation stage but the only way to move forward is by hiring an attorney to look into it, to find out what the advantages and disadvantages are,” Keefe explained.

The board also set a special meeting for Monday at 7:30 p.m. to present the tentative budget and to call for a public hearing on April 8. The village’s budget year begins June 1.

After the meeting Keefe said there would be a tax increase.

“We went flat last year and we can’t survive a second year. We know the reserves are going to be eaten away so I’m going to propose a moderate increase in taxes,” the mayor explained.

Keefe said budget details would be released Monday and added that due to not having a tax increase in last year’s budget the village could raise taxes by 3.5 percent.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the village may have an outdoor aspect to them if bar owners can apply by Thursday to take advantage of a resolution allowing the use of sidewalks by patrons. According to the resolution, taverns on Main and Water streets in the village will be permitted to use the sidewalks directly in front of the taverns for consumption of alcoholic beverages in plastic containers.

“There’s an application for that and we don’t know how this information is going to get out to the bar owners that they have the ability to do this,” Village Administrator Rick St. George said during the board’s workshop.

Bar owners will need an application filed along with certificate of insurance at $1 million per establishment to be filed with St. George by 3 p.m. on Thursday. It was noted the fax number for the village is 679-3175.

Trustee Joseph Cerrie said he would contact the bar owners.

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