DUNKIRK – The Chadwick Bay Regional Development Association heard an update on the progress of the regional water district at its regular meeting Thursday. Members of the association have been working on a regional water distribution system project for the past several years. The monthly meeting was held at the Shorewood Country Club in Dunkirk.

Executive Director Kathy Tampio said that County Executive Vince Horrigan has been meeting with Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce and Fredonia Mayor Stephen Keefe. She said Horrigan’s goal will be to pinpoint the needs of those two communities to determine their requests for a regional system going forward. The water filtration plants in both communities were identified as good sources to serve the needs of the entire area. Dunkirk can currently produce about 6 million gallons of water a day and Fredonia has the capacity for more than 2 million gallons each day.

Brocton Mayor Dave Hazelton said he is at a critical juncture: Brocton needs to either spend a large amount of money to improve its system or connect to a regional system.

“We are between a rock and a hard place but we cannot wait forever,” said Hazelton, who added that the community’s water plant in Brocton is 80 years old and a decision to upgrade or purchase water from a regional district needs to be made.

“It is getting discouraging because I thought we were moving forward a couple of months ago,” said Hazelton.

Town of Dunkirk Supervisor Richard Purol said he already has considered working on a cooperative agreement with Brocton to install larger lines to help the area. Hazelton said that Brocton’s biggest customer is the Lakeview Correctional Facility.

Silver Creek Mayor Nick Piccolo said that water lines are an important part of the system and he said communities needed to be encouraged to install the lines to be ready. Chadwick Bay Chairman Dan Schrantz said he hopes the communities can come together to help set up a regional system.

“There is no reason that in one month’s time we cannot come up with a plan,” Schrantz said.

Both Dunkirk and Fredonia plan to supply water to the region if the distribution system can be approved. Tampio said applications have been made for grants to help with the initial planning and distribution of the new regional district. She said that if a district plan cannot be agreed upon, the area may be able to benefit from purchasing water from Dunkirk or Fredonia as customers. Town of Hanover Councilman Kevin O’Connell said the region could receive water from the Erie County Water Authority. Hanover and Silver Creek both receive water from the ECWA.