SHERIDAN – Community leaders at a meeting of the Chautauqua County Regional Water Agency have agreed to a program using Dunkirk and Fredonia as water sources.
Mayors, supervisors, county legislature members and elected officials from the nine communities in the northern Chautauqua County region met as members of the agency.
At their first meeting in April, local leaders heard a presentation of options on possible sources for water for the agency. The group members were asked to review the options and decide individually which of the options they approved. They included options with the City of Dunkirk as the sole water source and combinations using Dunkirk with Brocton, Fredonia and the Erie County Water Agency.
The group also considered construction of a new water treatment facility in the northern Chautauqua County region.
Ten members approved a resolution to have both Dunkirk and Fredonia be the source of the water supply for the region. Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce introduced the motion. He said that the City of Dunkirk can produce 6.5 million gallons of water a day and that he believes Fredonia is the best choice to supply the additional water to bring the total to 10 million gallons a day, which is the anticipated need for the region. Some of the goals of the regional water agency will be to supply water to rural areas where residents now have wells as their water source.
No one voted against the motion to have Dunkirk and Fredonia share water production for the region. Three representatives were absent.
Another goal of the agency will be to reduce water costs for residents and businesses in the area. County Legislator George Borrello, R-Silver Creek, who also serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee for the county, said he believes that an economical and stable source of water for the agency will help to attract new businesses.
Town of Pomfret Supervisor Donald Steger said he was pleased that the group had progressed to this plan. He said that he has been involved in looking at regional water plans for 17 years and that this year marked the most progress he had ever seen.
Brocton Mayor Bruce Hazelton was another local leader in favor of the plan. He said that even though Brocton has its own water treatment plant, the facility will need expensive upgrades, and they would be willing to close the plant in favor of a regional supply that was less expensive to operate and maintain.
One of the other options presented to the group was to install a transmission system and purchase water from the Erie County Water Authority.
Silver Creek and some of the Town of Hanover are both Water Authority customers.
Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo said he would like to be able to have another source that is less expensive for his community.
Fredonia Mayor Steve Keefe said he will bring the information about the proposal to his Village Board at its regular meeting Monday.
Supporting action from Fredonia will be required for the group to apply for grant funding for the regional water plan.
The group is now faced with having to submit a new consolidated funding application by a June 16 deadline.