DUNKIRK –The Village of Brocton’s water emergency on Tuesday and Wednesday illustrates how regional communities can work together, members of the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Association were told this week.
Brocton had a major waterline break on Tuesday, causing Mayor Dave Hazelton to declare a water emergency, which lasted until Friday.
Hazelton told members of the Chadwick group Thursday night that village employees used an emergency line that connected Brocton to Dunkirk through district water lines. He said the emergency line was able to supply a large portion of Brocton.
“The water pressure was low in some homes, but it was enough to flush toilets and have some water,” he said.
Hazelton said the lines were too small to supply the residents for very long, but for an emergency, the cooperative effort helped many people stay in their homes with their own water.
The Chadwick Bay group has been supporting regional programs for several years and promoted the start of a northern Chautauqua County Water District Agency. The goal of the agency, which met Thursday for the first time, will be to develop a system throughout the northern portion of the county.
Chadwick Bay group members agreed to continue using the services of Clark, Patterson, Lee to do studies on the regional water system. A contract for $535,000 was authorized by the group.
Members agreed that Pomfret Supervisor Don Steger and Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol would work on the proposed bylaws for the group. The two will present definitions of “voting” member and “associate” member at the next meeting. They also will be charged with presenting bylaws that define membership dues.
Executive Director Kathy Tampio presented a petition and letter from Robert Pierce requesting that the Chadwick group assist residents of the Middle Road area in Sheridan with obtaining a municipal water source. The letter stated that many of the residents have poor quality well water and would benefit from a municipal supply. The petition was signed by 17 residents.
The group re-elected Portland Supervisor Dan Schrantz as chairman and Purol as vice chairman.
Meanwhile, Steger has been elected chairman of the Chautauqua County Water District Agency. Hazelton will be vice chairman.
At the agency’s first meeting Thursday in Dunkirk City Hall, Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan pledged that the county will support the initiative. “It is important that this regional concept is unanimously embraced,” said Horrigan, adding that he is confident “we can put together a robust regional system that is critical to economic development in our area.”
Steger said he has been working on regional water ideas since 1996 and is excited that the plan seemed to be coming together. With the help of the Chadwick Bay group, the new agency has some start-up grant funding to help with initial costs.
The agency includes the mayors or supervisors from the villages of Silver Creek, Fredonia and Brocton, and the towns of Pomfret, Portland, Dunkirk and Sheridan. Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce also is a member, along with County Legislators Keith Ahlstrom, D-Dunkirk; Robert Scudder, R-Fredonia; and George Borrello, R-Silver Creek.