The total amount of water purchased from the city of Dunkirk to cover the village of Fredonia's water outage due to a boil order has been calculated.
The village water supply was rendered unusable from Nov. 28 through Dec. 3 due to clogged filter beds after an overnight chemical pump failure. The Chautauqua County Health Department issued a boil order, and the water supply connecting Dunkirk's water to be pumped to the village was turned on. A direct line was diverted to supply Carriage House operations.
The city of Dunkirk estimates the total amount of water used during the days under the boil order to be just over 2.5 million gallons, totaling an estimated $9,900. Fredonia has been back on its own water supply entirely since about 4 p.m. Tuesday.
According to the office of Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce, the village will be charged the normal village rate, which is 1.75 percent higher than the rate charged to water customers in the city of Dunkirk.
When asked if supplying the village with the sudden increase in water was an inconvenience, Dolce replied, "No, not at all. We were able to supply Fredonia with what they needed."
Dolce said if any other water needs arise in Fredonia or elsewhere, the Dunkirk water system can again provide. "We are prepared," he said. "We are going through water filtration plant upgrades, so as long as we are able to meet those obligations, we'll have no problem."
The city of Dunkirk is under a consent order to make upgrades to its water filtration facilities. The improvements will increase capacity along with meeting regulatory guidelines. "By the end of 2014, we'll be able to handle (providing water to) the whole north end of the county," Dolce explained. "We're excited about that."
The village of Fredonia will hold a special meeting today at noon, and topics regarding the water filtration plant will be discussed in executive session, according to Mayor Stephen Keefe, including personnel. The current Fredonia water filtration plant operator, Rob Lancaster, is retiring effective Dec. 21. His retirement was announced after an unexpected $99,000 charge from the city of Dunkirk for water consumption, about which Lancaster did not inform village officials.
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