Forestville board gives Creek Road residents six months until cutoff

FORESTVILLE – The Forestville water project is nearing an end – but there are some residents who will be left out if no action is taken.

Trustee Kevin Johnson gave an update on the water project at a recent village board meeting. Part of that update was concerning the out-of-village water customers. He said the village does not have the money in the project funds to run new lines to the customers in the towns of Hanover, Sheridan and Arkwright.

Johnson said he regrets that the village will have to send a letter to the 47 customers and the towns, saying without a water district, the village can no longer absorb the cost to maintain the water lines.

He said the health department told the village it can maintain the spring water system for six months and then the lines must be decommissioned.

According to Johnson, the residents submitted a petition to the town board.

However, Supervisor Todd Johnson said the board did not receive a formal petition.

“The town hasn’t re-ceived a petition. Their idea of a petition was having people sign a piece of paper saying ‘we want it,'” Supervisor Johnson said in a phone interview.

Supervisor Johnson said Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro has explained the process for creating a water district several times at town board meetings and that several former and current village officials have been informed of the process.

He said first, residents with the majority of assessed property value must agree to forming a district with a formal petition.

“It is a lot of work,” Supervisor Johnson said. “They have to get assessments from the assessor, obtain legal council and also the help of an engineer to design the project.”

Supervisor Johnson said the costs of engineering, legal fees and construction of the lines would be borne by the residents in the district.

He also said all this work is the responsibility of the village of Forestville to pursue.

“They think because Creek Road is in the town, it is the responsibility of the town. Really because it is an extension of their water district, it is their responsibility,” he added.

Trustee Johnson was later contacted and said the residents signed a petition over a year ago, which the town considers a petition to start a petition.

“They understand what the residents want but they are dragging their feet,” Johnson said. “We have a six-month window, but it bothers me to have this happen because I have friends and relatives who live up there and who want this. By sending this letter, we want to give the town a push.”

Johnson said the formation of a water district in Hanover is necessary before it can ask Sheridan and Arkwright to do the same for their residents.

“All of this is possible to do, but we can’t do it without a district,” he added.

The next Forestville Village Board meeting will be held Sept. 10. The Hanover Town Board will meet Sept. 9.