SALAMANCA – A demonstration project on the technology of storm water management could be coming to the Cattaraugus County Department of Public Works building in Little Valley.
The concept is the brainchild of the Southern Tier West Regional Planning & Development Board.
New technology has made it necessary to educate municipal officials on the latest in policies and practices, according to Ginger Malak, a trainer for Southern Tier West, who noted that the idea is being embraced by county officials.
During a Southern Tier West meeting in Salamanca last week, Malak said the Cattaraugus County Legislature agreed to her request for the use of about two acres behind the building on Jack Ellis Drive.
“We have been involved right from the beginning,” county Public Works Commissioner Joseph T. Pillittere said. “The site for the demo is on our property, and we will also be providing in-kind services as part of this project.”
The in-kind services would include personnel and equipment use, he added.
“The idea is to provide a demonstration site that individuals can visit to learn what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to storm water management,” Pillittere said.
“Proper storm water management can help prevent flooding of transportation corridors, property damage, stream and creek erosion, and pollution.”
“The quote I like best is that we want to mimic nature by integrating storm water management into building and site developments to reduce the impacts on nature,” Pillittere said.
“The site can be used by contractors, municipalities, students and environmentalists. It would be open to individuals from Chautauqua, Allegany and Cattaraugus counties.”
The demonstration project is one facet of the storm water education plan.
Malak noted that she and other staff members of Southern Tier West conducted training on the issue for officials of municipalities of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties – the area represented by Southern Tier West. The first seminar, held in May, was attended by 116 people, representing 74 participating municipalities, Malak said.
“I would have thought it was successful with maybe 50 people,” she said. “We well exceeded that number. I believe we will be having a second annual conference.”
The conference and demonstration site would be building blocks for a three-year program – now in its second year – focused on training municipal officials and superintendents.
“We not only want these people to know how to deal with storm water,” Malak said, “we also want them to understand what it is, what is in it, and what it can do.”