Holmes Place residents continue to lobby board

By GREG FOX

OBSERVER Staff Writer

Several Holmes Place residents were back for round two with the Fredonia Village Board during Monday’s meeting.

David and Marilyn Flack and Rocky LeGrano commented during the public portion of the meeting, demanding answers to why it is taking so long to address the rugged terrain that is their street, which has been ground up, unpaved and barely drivable for the past two and a half months.

“The engineer … came down the street (10 days ago). The time has gone by with nothing done. There hasn’t been anything done on that street for six weeks,” David Flack said. “You don’t understand the urgency or the anxiety of the people on that street. This board doesn’t understand it and (Mayor Stephen Keefe) doesn’t understand it. I’m asking: Is this project going to be completed this year?”

Keefe assured Flack that Holmes Place will be leveled off and paved by the time “the snow falls.”

“It’s going to be grated down a bit, the manhole covers are going to be lowered and then brought back up to level and the project is going to be done this year,” he said. “And then you’re going to have the (paved) surface that you need.”

“There is no ‘not paving,'” Department of Public Works Supervisor Jack Boland assured the residents. “It’s definitely being paved.”

Originally, the Holmes Place project called for taking the street down, cleaning it up, putting new pipes down and putting in a brand new, paved road, according to Keefe. The project has been ongoing for the past five years.

“What baffles me to no end is that we don’t have a street,” Marilyn Flack said. “Everybody else in Fredonia has a street. We’re taxpayers. The street was supposed to be done last year. October is approaching and we still don’t have a street.”

Keefe said he will be meeting with the engineer of the project on Wednesday to see what is being recommended to fix the road.

“We’re not quite sure who is going to do the paving, but it will be either the county or a contractor,” he added. “If I have to do it myself, it’s going to get done. We’re aware of your problems and we’re working on them.”

Also during the meeting, the board passed a serial bond resolution for $180,000 to pay for the cost of the purchase and installation of a bar screen for the wastewater treatment plant.

Bar screens remove large objects from wastewater. The replacement of the one in Fredonia’s treatment plant was approved in August as part of a number of other critical facility improvements through an energy performance contract with Wendel Energy Services LLC.

The bond will be paid back for the next five years at a rate of $36,000 per year. Village Administrator Richard St. George said the savings accrued from other projects in the contract will help to offset the price of the bar screen.

The board also approved a resolution to pay $1,000 to the Festivals Fredonia Committee for promotional expenses associated with Fredonia History Days and the Red, White and Blues Festival.

A resolution appointing Matthew Christopher as a part-time police officer at a rate of pay of $12.25 per hour with no other benefits was also passed. Christopher replaced Shane Carlson in the police department, whose resignation was previously accepted by the board.

A contract agreement between the village and the Fredonia Police Benevolent Association was also accepted. The agreement will last through May 31, 2016.

The board went into executive session before the meeting to discuss personnel at the DPW, building inspector’s office and water filtration plant.

The next meeting is Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Trustees Room of the village hall.

To view Monday’s meeting in its entirety, as well as previous village board meetings, go to www.youtube.com/user/Access5Fredonia. Meetings are usually posted on that website within 24 hours.

Comments may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com