CASSADAGA - Trustees of the Cassadaga Village Board often ask for input. At the recent board meeting, although only one couple spoke during the public comment section of the meeting, the board got plenty of input.
Karen and Don Wade, residents of Mill Street in Cassadaga, came to the meeting to express three concerns. The board spent a good deal of time listening and discussing the matters with the couple.
The first and the most frustrating problem Wade spoke about was the quality of the water on Mill Street.
OBSERVER Staff Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Pictured (from left) Trustee Valerie Culverwell, Village Attorney Michael Norris, Deputy Mayor Rodney Waite, and Village Clerk Roxanne Astry listen to resident Karen Wade, who brought her concerns to the board. Culverwell is pictured with a sample of the water from Mill Street.
"When are they going to do something about the water condition on Mill Street?" she asked. "On May 25, I came down with a sample of water and I gave it to Roxanne. That was 12 days ago. Today, this is in the water."
Wade brought two baggies of her water with a brownish-red tinge and took them to the table at which the board was sitting.
"It's not just my house; other people are like this too. What I am wondering is how safe this is. This is the water I'm supposed to bathe in; brush my teeth in. I'm supposed to cook with it; we're supposed to drink it. Is this a safety hazard or what? It's been going on way too long. I have sent samples down I don't know how many months back. I give a sample to Mr. Lehnen and he takes it down for me. It's not satisfactory. I pay as much for my water as anybody else. This is what I have to put up with. My white clothes are off-white. ... It leaves a stain in the bathtub. If you put water in anything plastic, it leaves a stain in the plastic. Something needs to be done with it," she continued.
Trustee Mike Lehnen, using articles from the OBSERVER, traced the times the issue has been brought up, and his own action in bringing a sample of water to the board.
"To be absolutely honest with you we've done nothing with the water problem in this village," he said.
"Did it clear up at all after the flushing we did last month?" Trustee Valerie Culverwell asked.
Karen said it comes and goes.
Fetter said the pipe on Mill Street needs tobe changed, but Trustee Ronald DeChard said he's not convinced the problem is with the pipe.
Waite said he believed it was iron in the water, and while it is an aesthetic problem, it is not a question of safety. He suggested that the village keep a log of the problems, and that residents be encouraged to report the problems. With more information concerning the circumstances of when and where this happens, the problem could be narrowed down.
"I don't want to muddy the waters, excuse the pun, but maybe it could be traced back to the days it rains," Don Wade said.
he second concern was the high grass at Fred Newell's place.
"There is grass up to my waist in the backyard and the front yard isn't much better," Karen said.
Rodney Waite, deputy mayor, explained a new local law dealing with uncontrolled weeds was passed at the last meeting. Grass can be no more than six-inches tall. He encouraged anyone who had an issue to pick up a form and fill it out. The forms are at the clerk's office, and the village hopes to post it soon on the new website (www.cassadaganewyork.org) so it can be printed out.
Waite said Zoning Officer Tom DeJoe, who is shared with Stockton, has been very good about looking into the situations. Using the form helps the board track the progress on situations.
Karen's final concern was the garbage that hadn't been picked up a bit further down the street. Tom Fetter, public works and highway superintendent, explained he had just gotten back to work after a hospitalization. In addition, after the resignation of Ronald Matter effective June 8, he will be working alone until the position is filled. He said he is aware of the situation and will take care of it.
Waite thanked the couple for coming to the meeting.
"We need people to come to meetings and speak up," he added.
Again, he encouraged the public to keep track of water problems and call the village to give information about the problems and when they occur.
In another water-related matter, Gary Rog from Ti Sales, brought Neptune Water Meters to show the board. The village is considering replacing the water meters which are over 20 years old. Rog said his company supplied meters to the cities of Buffalo and Dunkirk, among others.
Rog explained that a radio reader saves a great deal of labor but may not be worth the $11,000 cost for a small village. He also explained that the village could get a meter that can be read manually but would go to radio read in the future. The life expectancy of the meter is 20 years.
He passed around samples of the meter parts and answered questions posed by the board and audience. He also left brochures.
In personnel matters, the board reported that public works employee Ronald Matter resigned effective June 8. In addition, Mayor LeeAnn Lazarony, came into the meeting briefly to give her report. She explained that she will have surgery and has to be out of work for six weeks after that.
"Rodney will be on call," she said. "Just don't sell the village while I'm gone."
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