Portland waits on a response for new water district

BROCTON — Action is progressing concerning the proposed water district No. 8 in the Town of Portland. Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz updated his council by telling them, as well as residents, that an official letter has been received by USDA Rural Development that would account for $594,000 as part of a 2 percent loan with a payback of 38 years, as part of a $750,000 total package of grant funds.

Schrantz noted that at this point, this will probably be the best opportunity put forward to grant fund a project of this size, and that the next step in the process would be to schedule a public hearing for the proposed water district.

With Van Buren Point residents present at the recent board meeting, the supervisor also reported on the amendments to be funded for water district No. 2.

“We did get an ok to proceed with a full funding application, and the County Department of Health sent a letter to USDA Rural Development about the deterioration of the water line involved. We have been approved for some money already, but that’s just for water line, not for any type of drainage district. However, there is one opportunity remaining for planning of a drainage district, and another one that will be up after that.”

Representing the Van Buren Point Homeowners’ Association, Jim Simmons addressed the council concerning the potential loss of nearly 400 Ash trees located along the lake communities.

Those trees bare significance to the water and drainage issues along the lake, as Simmons explained, the Emerald Ash Borer have been attacking the trees which help to wick away water and assist with the existence of standing water. A mitigation plan is under way, stated Simmons, that involves working closely with Davey Resources and Tree Services, and National Grid having taken down nearly 40 trees thus far.

The council scheduled its next meeting for this Thursday at 2 p.m. as a special meeting to turn the proposed town budget for 2017-2018 over to the town clerk.