The city of Dunkirk is not waiting for help when it comes to marketing the water it processes.
Mayor Anthony J. Dolce said Tuesday a recent meeting set the stage for a Common Council resolution authorizing the city help fund a study that will look at the possibility and costs of supplying city water eastward along Route 5 to the village of Silver Creek.
A resolution to allow the city to spend up to $975, the same amount as Silver Creek and the towns of Dunkirk and Sheridan will each spend, was on the agenda to set the process in motion.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gib Snyder
Common Council members Michael Michalski (left), William J. Rivera and Adelino Gonzalez joined with Stacy Szukala in passing a resolution to allow the city to participate in a study of a waterline that would run from the city of Dunkirk eastward along Route 5 to Silver Creek. Councilwoman-at-large Stephanie Kiyak provided the lone no vote.
Resolution 110-2012 did not receive unanimous support however, as Councilwoman-at-Large Stephanie Kiyak explained her reasons for the "no" vote she was about to cast.
"I'd like to say for the record I'm the biggest proponent of consolidating services, offering services, merging services, however we can involve the communities around us, I am for," she began. "With that said, looking at moving forward with this opportunity, I feel that the city of Dunkirk is the one possessing the asset. The fact that we're spending $16.7 million on upgrades on our water treatment plant, I would think that the services that we're providing for the communities definitely covers whatever cost is involved in these studies. I don't feel that we should be participating in the cost of the study of providing the services that we will be."
Fourth Ward Councilwoman Stacy Szukala spoke next.
"I think the small amount we're going to put forward for the study update could potentially bring us much more in the future if we were to provide our water to Silver Creek and outer ... communities," she stated. "I think if the amount had been much larger I may have felt the same way as you, but the amount is nominal when we consider that we could actually be providing water to Sheridan, Silver Creek and that way."
First Ward Councilman Michael Michalski said he sent Dolce congratulations.
"I think this is what we should be looking to do. Certainly we want to stay involved in the Chadwick Bay water district, if that's what you want to call it, but we have to move on our own as well," he added. "No one is going to pay our bills for us. We can't wait for someone else to form a water district in the area. We're taking our efforts and trying to make our own ends meet on our own. ... My hats off to the current administration for making this happen and looking into it and reaching out to Silver Creek in the meantime."
Second Ward Councilman William J. Rivera said the small amount of money could turn into something big for the city while Third Ward Councilman Adelino Gonzalez stated that it's an opportunity for the city.
Kiyak reiterated that her objection was not in providing water, but that the city should not be footing the bill.
Dolce spoke before the vote and thanked DPW Director Tony Gugino for his work putting together the four-community meeting.
"I think what you're going to see with this update of the study, extremely minimal cost. We need to see where we're at. There may be, I caution the residents, there may be some investment on the city's end to make this happen but what we're looking at is a potential revenue source for decades to come," Dolce stated. "So for a minimal amount, I think it's worth the investment. What we also hope to see with this is a relatively quick turnaround in the study. The heavy leg work of the study was done in '04 and '05."
Dolce added Nussbaumer & Clarke, the firm doing the study, said it would take about six weeks to figure out the costs associated with the project.
"From there we can proceed. We don't want this to be one of those dragged-out things," he continued. "Is this something that's going to happen? Is it not going to happen? In all this discussion what our push was, let's get the cost out there and see if this is a realistic proposition and I do appreciate your support. I know the other towns, villages, do support this as well and they are excited to see this become a reality."
Resolution passed 4-1, with Kiyak voting no.
After the meeting Dolce was asked if the city was tired of waiting for the Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation to make progress.
"It would be in the city's best interest to start taking more of a lead on these projects and we know some of the smaller towns and villages are out there too, looking for other agreements to push things along," he replied. "We remain an active member of the Chadwick Bay group and we would love to see the North County Water District formed, but we shouldn't pass up potential opportunities like this in the meantime."
Dolce said that by the end of 2014 the city will have a 10 million gallon per day capacity and be able to supply water to the entire north county, barring a significant water user being added.
"We would love to have that problem," he added.
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