Gowanda Village Board ranks CDBG projects

GOWANDA – The village of Gowanda has two fire halls, but does not have a working fire alarm at the Aldrich Street facility. During a public hearing, Don Offhaus of the fire department suggested the village put in an application for an early warning system for the Community Development Block Grants.

“We don’t have a siren anymore. We do have one at Hidi,” Offhaus said. “The (application) we submitted last year is a multi-functional system … to warn people about floods and fires.”

The alarm at Hidi fire hall is working but it has to be operated manually. The village board thought resubmitting the application for a second year would be a good idea. The board agreed the village is in need of a warning system for residents.

“I think that’s a great idea. I’m in agreement,” Trustee John Certis said.

Trustee Paul Zimmermann and Mayor Heather McKeever asked if the application cited the alarm system was presented as for a natural disaster such as a flood or for the good of the community.

“Explain what we don’t have and set that up for them. We don’t have this and this is what we need, in the request,” McKeever said.

The early warning system would include three systems, one by Aldrich Street fire hall, one in the downtown area and one near Hidi fire hall. The system could have different tones to alert residents to either fires, natural disasters or any other emergency.

Another suggestion for the grant was the completion of the South Water Street parking lot. Trustee Carol Sheibley said a grant has been submitted by the village for blight removal and completion of the parking lot. Sheibley also brought up water meters and hydrants which need replacing throughout the village.

“I also would strongly hope that we could submit a grant for the water department to get some of these things,” she said. “I also had the early warning system on my list too. I think it’s pretty much cut and dry to what we need. And also, because water benefits the whole community, we would touch all of the census tracts in the community which you need for this grant money.”

The village ranked the early warning system, the meters and hydrants, and rural transit for their three respective projects for the grant. McKeever said the village will rank South Water Street as a project next year if the other grant funding is not approved.

Comments on this article may be sent to smcdonnell@observertoday.com