BROCTON - A recent meeting between town and city decision makers and Bill Boria from the Chautauqua County Department of Health could lead to some resolutions surrounding operation and maintenance of the water supply for customers of Portland's water districts.
At the Portland Town Council meeting, Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz reported on the meeting he had with Boria and City of Dunkirk, West Town of Dunkirk and Town of Pomfret leaders.
The main purpose of that meeting was to discuss last month's boil water order issued by the county's enhanced 9-1-1 broadcast service warning customers of low chlorination levels in their water.
"What we were able to find out were some of the problems with that process, which is that everyone who is signed up to receive enhanced 9-1-1 service will automatically get all of the calls regardless of whether or not they're affected by the emergency. But we did talk about a better procedure to notify the media and the affected customers because there are technically three townships involved in our water districts," stated Schrantz.
To address the situation of low chlorination levels of water that's transferred from the City of Dunkirk, it was determined at the meeting that a chlorination station will need to be added along the route from the city leading into Portland. Boria recommended that in order to best establish where that would be placed, that the entities begin taking water samples in their water districts.
"We have to determine where that station should be placed and how to equally share the cost of it. There are a lot of questions to be answered about how everyone involved is affected by situations like these," added Schrantz.
Maintenance of the water tower on Route 5 will also be looked at as a cost-sharing venture. The tower recently went through a thorough interior and exterior inspection process, which didn't yield any major or critical areas of concern, according to Schrantz.
"There were a few things on the inspection that do need to be looked at down the road and we will be meeting again to review some options as far as grant funding applications as a joint venture since Pomfret and Dunkirk also benefit from the use of that tower."
A public information meeting tentatively slated for Oct. 11 by the Chadwick Regional Development Corporation, which Schrantz chairs, will hopefully prove to be another step in the positive direction for municipal water districts in the area.
The two-part meeting and informational session is designed to educate stakeholders involved about: the type of projects that will serve the corporation's mission; grant funding opportunities available; a detailed map of all districts and how their water resources are affected; estimated cost savings of regionalization and success stories from Erie and Genesee Counties who have been through the process.
The council also publically reviewed the scheduled restoration work that is slated to be done at the John and Carol Boltz property in Water District 7. The couple attended the meeting to confirm with the council what the work will entail and when it's scheduled to begin.
Schrantz said Sicar Construction, the contracted firm which put the newest water district in was forced to hire Rizzo Trenching as an outside private contractor to satisfactorily complete restoration work for the Boltzs, whose property was disrupted and left in a state of disrepair in the process of installing bores for the water lines. The town has maintained its stance on retaining monies that would close out the project until that restoration work receives a seal of approval.
"The board has already met with Sicar and we have basically reviewed and toured the property to determine what needs to be done, and as a result Sicar has had to hire a private contractor. It will now be up to that contractor to proceed with the work and do what the board and Sicar have agreed on," stated the town supervisor.
In other matters, the council resolved to look at instituting a monthly water billing process, as opposed to quarterly as it bills now.
The town was approached by its water supplier, the Village of Brocton, about going from quarterly to monthly billing cycles in order to more accurately reflect actual revenue and water usage.