Fredonia planning income survey to qualify for zero-interest financing

Fredonia’s Board of Trustees bonded for $1,380,360 at its Feb. 4 session to complete funding of its wastewater treatment plant project.

Mayor Athanasia Landis said the village can get zero percent interest and no issuance fees on the loan that the bond is paying off. But the catch is, the village must prove that the income of its residents is below the federal average.

To that end, the board agreed to contract with G&G Municipal Consultants for a survey of residents’ incomes. G&G will be paid $16,950 for its services.

Trustee Michael Barris expressed concerns that officials would know the incomes of specific residents. Village Treasurer Jim Sedota said the surveys will only take down incomes, not names and addresses. “We’re not invading anybody’s privacy,” he said.

Sedota said G&G assured him it could get 38 percent of village residents to respond within 60 days. If it doesn’t hit 38 percent, the village only has to pay part of its contract. Sedota said G &G will be working with utility companies to send its surveys out with bills, and if it does not get a satisfactory response, it will go door-to-door.

The treasurer added that the bond resolution is “permissive,” meaning it goes into effect 30 days after its passage. “If we don’t get the low-interest loan this all becomes null and void,” he said.

Barris didn’t think the village needs to bond at all. “It’s my analysis of the budget that we have sufficient fund balance to pay outright,” he said.

“Yeah, well, if you want to deplete your fund balance,” Sedota replied.

“I do,” responded Barris.

“I don’t,” retorted Sedota.

In other business Monday, the board:

¯ Passed three resolutions aimed at improving village buildings’ security systems. DFT Security of Fredonia has been contracted to aid in “the addition of surveillance cameras, modern locks and other modern electronic security,”

Trustee Doug Essek asked how the security camera footage will be monitored. Village Attorney Dan Gard said DFT is donating monitors for viewing footage, which will be stored for a 30 day loop.

¯Agreed to let Hillside Painting of Fredonia do some work on the interior of the police station, at a cost of $9,875. The job includes “concrete work, drywall work and painting,” according to Police Chief Brad Meyers. Hillside Painting was the only bidder on the project.

¯ Reappointed Nancy Dietzen of Fredonia as acting village justice.

¯ Hired Justin Grimm of Gowanda as a part-time police officer.