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Elma residents with service lines for water from the road to their houses will have some relief if the line springs a major leak from conditions beyond normal and reasonable control of the customer.
A new water leak policy was approved Wednesday by the Elma Town Board.
The current law does not permit any cost break from the town, but the new policy will allow the town to make a credit adjustment if a leak results in a major loss of water in the service line from the service pit near the roadway to the house. Many homes built in the 1960s and '70s have been sold more than once and the current owners do not know where their service lines are located.
While many are between 400 to 500 feet long there are some that are 4,000 feet from the road through woods and high grasses. Others are as short as 200 feet. Owners are cautioned to be on the lookout for leaks. Low water pressure and greener than usual spots in the lawn can be a sign of a leakage, which should be reported immediately to the Water Department. The new policy does not cover leaky toilets, faucets, sinks, dishwashers, washing machines or other leaks inside the home. The town will absorb the cost difference between what the Erie County Water Authority charges for the town for the lost water and what the town charges the customers.
In a separate issue, Water Superintendent Gene Stevenson told the board that customers have been complaining about their recent water bills but as he pointed out, they forget how much more water they have used during the summer drought. Also, Supervisor Dennis Powers said the heat has caused more evaporation in swimming pools resulting in more water to refill them.
Councilman Michael Nolan said water is one of those commodities that "you pay for what you use."
Also Wednesday:
. The board approved the hiring of a new crossing guard in front of the Boys & Girls Club, across from Iroquois School Campus on Girdle Road. Peter Natalzia will be paid $11.41 per hour for working two days a week, from 2:20 to 5:20 p.m.
. Chuck Cichone, of Bullis Road, told the board the county made a mistake in how they stripped the road recently, stripping some areas in single lines that should have double lines. They will be redone with double stripes for now, but no passing signs or the widening of the road and a turning lane into Seasonal Landscaping are being put on hold, he said. Cichone asked the board to intervene with the county and Powers said he would try.
. The meeting was closed with a moment of silence in the memory of Faye Lexo, the wife of deceased supervisor James W. "Bill" Lexo, who served the town for 23 years.
Nolan said it was time the board finalized suggestions to name the town courtroom in honor of the former supervisor.