Fredonia says ‘no’ to joining in LWRP

Before declining the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp.’s offer to sign on to a grant application for the northern Chautauqua County regional water district, the Fredonia Village Board also decided not to commit $2,000 for the Local Economic Development Committee’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

Citing uncertainties over next year’s budget, the board voted 3-1 to scrap the resolution from consideration during Tuesday’s special meeting.

Trustee Marc Ruckman was not present during the meeting.

“I’m not going to support it because I don’t like committing budget money a year ahead of time,” Trustee Janel Subjack said during the workshop. “We’re not even a couple of months into this budget.”

After the meeting, Subjack said she had been open to the idea of the LWRP, but stood by not wanting to commit future money from an already tight budget.

“Obviously there was a deadline involved with this project. I can’t speak for the other trustees, but you never (flat out) say no to anything. You look at everything, but I’m not comfortable committing money that far ahead,” she said. “We would also be the only municipality that isn’t directly on the lake (if we were to sign on).”

Trustees Joseph Cerrie and Phyllis Jones agreed with Subjack during the workshop. Cerrie said the LEDC should have asked the board for the money several months ago when they were working on the annual budget, so it could be set aside ahead of time.

“That’s their own fault,” he said during the discussion. “They should have asked us at that time to budget the money.”

Trustee Susan Mackay, who helped create the LWRP the first time around in 2003, dissented from her fellow board members and said she was disappointed they didn’t want to involve themselves in the project.

“I think it was short-sighted. I think the tourism opportunity by offering up projects like this to the state would benefit Fredonia. We have Canadaway Creek and we have other tributaries which would have allowed us to be a part of this grant,” Mackay said after the meeting. “The initial board was in favor of it and I’m sorry this came at a time when we aren’t able to budget it since that seems to be most of the concerns.”

“I am disappointed to find out that you will not be participating in our efforts to complete a local waterfront revitalization plan,” Chadwick Bay Executive Director Kathy Tampio said during the meeting’s public portion. “The village … would have benefitted from the implementation of projects that will support regional tourism, address strong water erosion and water quality issues and improve waterfront access to recreation and business development.”

Tampio also said 10 local municipalities have signed on to the LWRP.

In 2003, the Department of State told the LEDC the plan needed to be revised before consideration for a grant. The village board would not have had to pay the $2,000 if the grant application was to be declined a second time by the state.

Also during the board meeting, a resolution was passed hiring two part-time police officers. Effective immediately, John Conti and Joseph Carruth II will work at a rate of $12.25 per hour with no other benefits.

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Monday at 7:30 p.m.

Comments may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com.