Fredonia, Hanover owe dues to CBRDC

Many organizations collect dues in order to offset expenses. Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation is no different.

However, not all participating municipalities are current on their dues to the organization.

At the CBRDC Board of Directors’ July meeting, it was noted that Fredonia has not paid its dues since 2011 and Hanover has not paid its 2013 and 2014 dues.

The 2014 assessments have been received from the towns of Pomfret, Dunkirk, Portland and Sheridan and the village of Brocton and city of Dunkirk.

Executive Director Kathy Tampio explained the dues differ in amount each year based on the corporation’s expected expenses and are approved by the board members. She said the 2014 dues were $1,600 per municipality.

The board of directors has had ongoing discussions about altering bylaws to only allow members in good standing – having paid their dues – to be voting members. Tampio noted this would change the number of members needed for quorum.

Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe, who did not attend the July meeting, said the Fredonia Village Board of Trustees decided to stop paying dues because of frustration over the number of studies performed with no action.

He said this was exacerbated when it was proposed that Fredonia be eliminated as a water source for the regional district.

Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson said the town has not paid its dues because of a lack of benefit to its taxpayers. Hanover is not a producer of water and currently is in a contract with the Erie County Water Authority until 2020.

Now that the regional water project has taken off, Keefe said he supports regional efforts, but questions what the organization will do.

“I wonder where Chadwick Bay is going from here,” he said. “They have been going for regional water, but now the county has taken lead agency on that and I don’t know what it will do in the future.”

Hanover Councilman Kevin O’Connell, who has been very involved with CBRDC, agreed.

“The organization’s focus for the last number of years has been on a regional water district. We support its creation wholeheartedly, but we may not be a part of it. I think we would like to see them provide other services,” he said.

Keefe said shared services are already taking place between municipalities and other regional focuses took a back seat to water for several years.

“I would like to be part of Chadwick Bay because regional is the best approach, but the regional water has changed hands,” he said. “(The trustees) are a great group of people, but they were frustrated with the studies. Everyone is in favor of a regional approach.”

Keefe said he thinks regional approaches to tourism and marketing and equipment purchasing could help municipalities.

Board members in attendance at the July meeting discussed a strategic plan to include regional approaches to property revaluations and a sewer district.

Tampio reported the ARC grant amendment to extend the project term to August was approved. A request for grant funding from the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency was submitted to cover the cost of the extended ARC process.

Clark Patterson Lee engineers submitted another consolidated funding application for the added expense to include the Fredonia water treatment plant in the regional water district. CBRDC previously received $1 million in CFA grant funding for the regional district.

The CBRDC board discussed meetings with the railroad and Congressman Tom Reed’s representative, Jacqueline Chiarot, offered assistance with meetings or conference calls.

The CBRDC board will next meet on Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m. in the town of Pomfret. The August meeting was canceled due to lack of quorum. The next meeting for the North County Water Agency has not been set.