Portland leaders discuss regional opportunities apart from water

VAN BUREN – Town of Portland council members discussed a few regional opportunities at their council meeting held recently at the Van Buren Point meeting hall.

Commenting on the progress of the regional water project, Supervisor Dan Schrantz noted “right now, we’re trying to come up with a rate structure, with Dunkirk and Fredonia being the suppliers of the water. The consensus is everyone should be paying the same rate. The county committee that has formed has been meeting with subcommittees about that.”

Schrantz also addressed those in attendance, who make up the communities of Portland’s lake shore.

“This section of town, we do purchase water from Dunkirk right now. However, the line coming from Dunkirk is basically too small,” he said. “This could be a great benefit for all residents in this section of the town.”

In other matters, council members accepted the resignation of Town Justice Rob Meyers, which will become effective Oct. 1. Adding that Meyers has served the town in his capacity since 1980, Schrantz said Meyers will “be very missed.”

Meyers attended the meeting to accept any questions from the council and to let them know he will avail himself to the transition process of selecting his replacement.

Van Buren residents applauded Meyers for his years of service to the town after Schrantz thanked him on behalf of the council.

Schrantz noted that election processes for four-year judgeship terms have recently changed, and that council would discuss how to go about following the general election procedure to fill Meyers’ spot.

Under the new business portion of the council meeting, Town Attorney Charles Loveland noted, “Traditionally, the candidate will come from the party committee and then would have the opportunity to run on next year’s ballot.”

Schrantz clarified earlier that a replacement would not have time to be listed in this November’s election process.

Councilman Gary Miller added “Can we say it’s safe to start advertising that we’re looking to fill his seat?” Councilman Gary Miller asked. “And in the meantime, we have a village of Brocton justice that works out of our office. He meets all of the certifications and requirements and is a good candidate. I would like to invite the village to eliminate that position.

“It’s crazy to have two systems (judicial) going out there and we’re only a half-mile apart. I would like to see that village position eliminated and have the judge join the town. He’s a good qualified candidate.”

The town supervisor agreed, adding, “We’re trying to reduce the size of government, and this is one situation where we could utilize that solution. It’s not like the village would be losing money, it’s pretty much a break-even position.

“Maybe we need a letter out to Brocton and in the meantime, advertise for candidates.”

Schrantz also updated residents that key departments in the township will be asked to start gathering information for budget discussions, which will begin this fall. He noted that estimates for road salt are up 27 percent from last year.

The council also gladly announced a $300 donation to the Brad Anderson Recognition Committee from John and Maxine Fitzgerald. Councilman Jerry Boltz added that the next B.A.R.C. meeting will be held Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.

A rabies clinic is also slated for Aug. 27 from 5 to 7 p.m., according to the supervisor, and will be held at the Brocton Fire Department’s hall on Lake Avenue. Qualified veterinary providers will be on hand to vaccinate any pets.

The council will meet again on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. at Portland Town Hall.

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