Water line replacement project set to proceed

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Fredonia officials confer at the village board’s meeting Monday. From left to right are Trustees Douglas Essek and Roger Britz, Mayor Athanasia Landis, and Trustees James Lynden, Kara Christina and Michael Barris.

A water line replacement project in Fredonia is finally set to go out to bid.

The project was initially approved by the village board May 21 when it agreed to accept an $1.4 million emergency financial assistance deal from the state. But Mayor Athanasia Landis told the Fredonia Village Board Monday, “Apparently there are some problems with easements.” Specifically, it is not known how many there are and how many landowners have them.

However, after meeting with engineering firm O’brien and Gere and Village Attorney Dan Gard, Landis said she is satisfied the project can proceed anyway. She also noted that the state is putting pressure on the village to put the project out to bid. State officials have told her they want a bid packet for the project ready by the end of next week.

The board approved O’Brien and Gere putting the project out for bid. Areas that will see work include Carol, Pleasant and Lambert avenues, James Place, Middlesex Drive and Main Street.About 9,600 feet of pipe will be replaced. Village officials are still hoping the project can be finished by early December.

In other business, the board:

¯ Hired Jim Sedota as a temporary deputy treasurer, at $35 an hour up to 30 hours a week, without benefits. Sedota was already retained by the board for a couple weeks earlier this month to keep an eye on village finances, filling a need after the resignation of Village Administrator Richard St. George in July.

Sedota will work under a verbal agreement, which concerned Trustee Douglas Essek. Landis said Sedota gave out his pay and time requirements verbally, she was fine with them, and they were put in the resolution, which Sedota said he was comfortable with.

Sedota added that the position’s duties were defined in village law. “The deputy works in the absence of the treasurer. So I’ll be working until you hire a treasurer,” he told the board. “Any time you determine you don’t need a deputy treasurer, fine.”

¯ Modified residency requirements for the village attorney and public works supervisor jobs. Previously, they had to reside in the village, now they will be allowed to reside anywhere in Chautauqua County. According to the resolutions making both moves, “The ability to draw from a larger candidate pool is beneficial to the village … the employee’s ability to live within the county promotes the recruitment and retention of otherwise qualified individuals.”