EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in a series of articles highlighting major issues facing each of the 19 Chautauqua County districts and the legislators presiding over them.
Bob Scudder, R-Fredonia, is excited about his third term as a Chautauqua County legislator. He has been appointed as one of three legislators on the Chautauqua County Water Agency, which was approved in December and also consists of nine elected officials representing municipalities to be included in Phase 1 of the proposed regional water supply program.
"We need to move forward with the water district in order to serve the needs of local industry, SUNY Fredonia and the residents of northern Chautauqua County," Scudder said.
Studies have revealed insignificant groundwater for providing large quantities of water required to meet municipal needs. Additionally, numerous updates are needed to ensure the continuance and availability of safe drinking water for residents.
A space was saved within the agency for the village of Fredonia, which has still not approved of joining the project.
"I would like to see the village of Fredonia more involved with the water district," Scudder said, adding that the agency needs to look into the cost of providing water from the village versus the cost of providing water from a district.
Bob Scudder District 3
District 3: Town of Pomfret, south portion of village of Fredonia
Employment: Owner of Fredonia Hardware Inc. and East Main Laundry Co.; Pro Home Repair, partner; landlord of SUNY Fredonia student rental properties
Elected Offices Held: Chautauqua County Legislature two terms beginning in 2010
Education: Alfred State College; Kenmore East High School
Fun fact: Owns a two-acre blueberry farm in Fredonia with wife, Laurie
Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation has been heading the project, and under its current plan, Fredonia's water plant would close. Mayor Stephen Keefe does not approve.
"Whether we keep the reservoir as a water source or not needs to be decided as we proceed with the process of setting up the water district," Scudder said. "I would like to get to the facts, not opinions, in order to make our decisions going forward."
One of the biggest issues the new legislature will have to handle is the future of the Chautauqua County Home.
The former legislature voted on its privatization three times, and the third vote fell one "yes" short of the facility being sold. Some legislators say it can be saved, while others argue it is losing $7,000 daily.
Scudder is in favor of the county keeping ownership of the County Home and said he believes in the mission statement of the home, which is to serve the people in need of the services it provides.
"We know what we have at the County Home now," he said. "I understand the desire to sell by many legislators, but to me these residents need to be provided for."
As one of 18 other elected officials composing Chautauqua County's newly downsized legislature, Scudder thinks positively of the future. Formerly, there were 25 members.
"I am excited to see what we can accomplish with this smaller number," said the District 3 representative. "We will be able to spend more time taking care of county business with less time spent on political agendas. Let's see how 19 legislators work, and in the future we may find ourselves moving toward an even smaller number."
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