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FREDONIA – Seven communities in northern Chautauqua County will be seeking funding for a regional water distribution system.

The City of Dunkirk will be lead agency in the program and will be joined by Brocton, Portland, Pomfret, Fredonia, Sheridan and the Town of Dunkirk in the efforts to promote the plan.

A report on the progress of the grant application was given Thursday at the regular meeting of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corp.

Executive Director Kathy Tampio said the Village of Silver Creek and the Town of Hanover may join the regional water program in a later phase. Those two areas currently purchase water from the Erie County Water Authority.

Tampio said the grant application will seek funding to support the engineering and planning for the system. The City of Dunkirk would be the water supplier in the plan. The city has been making improvements to its water treatment facilities to be able to upgrade and serve more customers.

Tampio reported that the Village of Brocton ran some preliminary numbers about the cost of water and determined that even with the additional improvements needed for a distribution system, it could save about 50 percent of its current water costs. Tampio said she expects similar savings for each participating community.

Chadwick Bay will seek a $400,000 local governments grant to support the first phase of the program.

In other matters, the organization announced its support for the Northern Chautauqua County Regional Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The program will seek state funding to promote tourism, protect the watersheds and manage natural resources in the areas.

She said Chautauqua County is acting as lead agency for the waterfront program and is following a successful program in the southern part of the county for communities that border Chautauqua Lake.

The next meeting of Chadwick Bay will be April 11. The Town of Dunkirk will host the session.