Legislature approves Silver Creek SRO

MAYVILLE — The Chautauqua County Legislature on Wednesday approved the use of a sheriff’s deputy to be used as a school resource officer in the Silver Creek Central School District.

The agreement allows for the sheriff’s deputy to be used as an SRO at an annual cost of about $75,800. The school district will fund the position.

After Wednesday’s meeting, County Executive George Borrello said the SRO position is a “critical function.” He acknowledged that some schools have these officers while others do not.

“I know that the sheriff is looking into a plan into how we can seek grant funding to be able supply SROs to all the school districts,” Borrello said. “I look forward to hearing his proposal on that idea and I certainly support that idea. At the end of the day, I believe it is (in) the school district’s best interests.”

The discussion of SROs in schools has been heightened following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in February.

Borrello said school resource officers help provide safety for schools, but also provide a positive influence on both students and the environment in the schools.

“I’m hopeful for that reason we’ll find some funding to get to that critical need filled at our schools,” Borrello said.

Earlier this week, the New York State Sheriff’s Association called for funding of at least one SRO in every school. The drive for school safety and SROs in schools has increased since the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fl.

In other news, the legislature approved $16,888,000 in bonds to pay for the design and construction of a South Chautauqua Lake Sewer District extension. Another resolution was also approved that would allow the county to acquire the Town of North Harmony Sewer District Facilities for the extension.

County Legislator Dave Wilfong said the project is “long overdue” and is a “worthwhile investment” for the county.

“This project was made a reality because 19 elected officials from throughout the county saw the need and decided to act,” Wilfong said. “They have shown that bi-partisan cooperation and fiscal responsibility can work hand-in-hand to make projects like this a reality.”

The legislature also approved $650,000 in bonds for the design and construction of a fuel farm at the Dunkirk Airport. A fuel farm refers to tanks that hold fuel. The fuel farm will be an above-ground system that will replace an underground system.