Fredonia in the running for possible border patrol tower

The village of Fredonia in the near future may be home to a new surveillance camera tower for the United States Border Patrol.

A resolution was passed during a recent Fredonia Village Board meeting granting approval for the U.S. Army and the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a survey and exploration of the wastewater treatment plant grounds to determine if the site is a viable option for placing the tower. The possible tower will assist in surveillance of Lake Erie in order to ensure the country’s protection of its borders and the safety of its citizens and infrastructure.

“It’s a one-year contract, but actually the amount of time they’re going to be out there surveying will probably not be more than two or three days,” Village Attorney Samuel Drayo told the board. “We just don’t know when during the year (the surveyors will be here). And, they might not select us as a site; it’s just a potential for surveillance cameras for border control.”

Drayo said he believes Fredonia is one of about eight potential sites the Army is surveying for the possible tower.

Trustee Susan Mackay was wary of the surveillance tower.

“I know of the whole border patrol issue and everything else,” she said. “Having come from Arizona and the Mexican border area, I know what some of those things are and aren’t, and quite often they’re just a nuisance and don’t have much benefit to anybody.”

“If they decide they want to use Fredonia, they have to come back with another agreement, then we look at the terms,” Drayo said. “It’s a tower. How tall is the tower? Where’s it going to be located? Is it going to interfere with the operations of the sewage treatment plant? All that will be looked at (if Fredonia is selected).”

The approved resolution stated the Army’s surveying equipment and tools will not interfere with the operation of the wastewater treatment plant.

Also during the meeting, the part-time, seasonal hires for the Fredonia-Pomfret Recreation Department’s Winter Recreation Program were approved. Eight attendants will earn minimum wage while two program coordinators will earn $10 per hour.

The attendants are Milton Quandt (of Dunkirk), Cody Cunningham, Francesca Sysol, Dylan Meyer, James Hobbs, Kayla Sullivan, Jacob Lilly and Nicholas Miller (all of Fredonia). The program coordinators are Scott VanDette of Fredonia and Richard Swanson of Dunkirk.

The board accepted a permanent stormwater/storm sewer easement from Alan Dolce and Cheryl Zulick at 272A Berry Road. No monetary compensation was necessary for the easement, which is for a 3,266-square-foot area that is 25 feet wide.

The storm sewer is already in place. Village Department of Public Works Supervisor Jack Boland recommended the easement since the storm sewer is part of a major drainage area of the village.

Chad Agel of Dunkirk was added to the active rolls of the Fredonia Fire Police Company, effective immediately.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel at the fire department.

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