Project updates highlight meeting

It was over in near-record time Tuesday as the Dunkirk Common Council made quick work of a light agenda.

Council took some 18 minutes to approve all the requests and loudspeaker applications before it, along with passing a resolution that changed the day of the annual Board of Assessment Review to the second Tuesday in June. That resolution approved Local Law #1-2013, which was the subject of a public hearing before the meeting that lasted about one minute as no one took the opportunity to speak on the matter.

Council also heard from Public Works Director Tony Gugino on the status of ongoing work at the water treatment plant and a proposed project to alleviate drainage problems with Liberty Street in the Fourth Ward, which runs south from Benton Street toward Tenney Street. Gugino explained his plan for the Liberty Street work in response to a question from Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala. Gugino said he checked with the DPW’s Dave Manzella and Mike Porpiglia after the last council meeting.

“I told them it’s full speed ahead on this project. It’s top priority,” Gugino stated. “We reinventoried what we had in the yard from when we bought it three years ago. Some of the materials were diverted last June or the year before when there was a new home built on the corner of Market and Sobieski. We took care of a lot of drainage there for that home.”

Gugino said about $820 of additional material will be needed for the project.

“We get that in, I told everybody it’s top priority and I’m just giving you notice that when I start this project I will take all my manpower,” he explained.

Gugino said the goal is to get the project done as efficiently as possible. Szukala asked to be notified of the project’s start so she’ll have answers when people start calling her about the work.

“You’ll be the first to know,” Gugino told her.

Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak had questions about work at the water treatment plant. Gugino said there was one of eight filter beds at the plant left to do. He added he was waiting for signed agreements before starting on more of the work required under a 2009 consent order between the city and the Chautauqua County Board of Health.

Gugino said much of the work is being done inhouse and filter bed six is next and it will be the first to have both carbon and sand in the filters. Doing so will save the city between 10 and 14 percent in annual carbon costs for the filter.

“This is a key step. If this filter bed six application works and the Department of Health likes the results after a month of tests we’re going to do all the beds,” Gugino explained. ” … That gives the city for the first time the true capability to filter 10 million gallons a day. That’s significant.

“This is part of the total new approach to achieving the goal of the consent order, 10 million gallons filtered. I’m excited.”

With agenda items dealt with, Szukala called for an executive session.

“I’d like to make a motion to go into an executive session to discuss the employment history of a particular person, matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation,” she stated. “It is expected that no new business will take place after the executive session concludes.”

According to a later email from Kiyak, that session concluded after some 40 minutes.

During the regular meeting Mayor Anthony J. Dolce talked about what has been keeping the Development Department busy.

“We’ve been spending a great deal of time the last couple weeks working on some outstanding HUD issues, that process is ongoing,” he explained.

After the regular meeting Dolce said he would be on the phone later Tuesday with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office to learn more about the state budget.

“They’ll give us a rundown, hopefully some good news comes of it, it’s all I’m aware of at this point,” he explained.

Dolce did say he heard some good news from Assemblyman Andrew Goodell on the proposed project in conjunction with SUNY Fredonia to bring a research station to the city’s waterfront that would be located between the Clarion Hotel and Tim Hortons.

“Money was put in for the SUNY 20/20 Grant. So that keeps us with a fighter’s chance, if you will, with the project on the harbor,” the mayor said, adding the $55 million allocated was not designated for any particular grant at this point.

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