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Boil-water order comes to end in Fredonia

Fredonia’s boil-water order has ended.

Village Mayor Mike Ferguson reported in a Facebook post that the order had been lifted on Sunday morning. He also advised residents to run their water for a couple of minutes before using.

A third order within a year was issued on Thursday for village users after a chlorine pump needed to be replaced. “The domestic pump in the facility failed. This pump circulates water through a water heater into the bottom of our chlorinators by way of a spraying unit which then dissolves chlorine pellets to make the disinfectant,” Luis Fred, Fredonia’s water operator said. “We noticed the problem overnight during hourly rounds and immediately started troubleshooting. Unfortunately, isolated incidents like this one happen, and is no fault of any individual. The Water Treatment Plant here in the Village of Fredonia has always put the interest of the community first by producing the best quality of water we can and will continue to do so.”

Boil-water orders are becoming all-too common for users, affecting businesses, the State University of New York at Fredonia and residents. Currently the Village Board is looking at ways to better serve those users. In December, it voted to go with an option that includes the purchase of water from Dunkirk.

A faction of residents who are members of the Citizens Action Group for Saving Our Reservoir want the current system upgraded.

“When we say, ‘fix our water system,’ we do not mean a pie in the sky, multi-year, tens of millions of dollars project to buy water from a neighbor,” the group said in a statement Saturday. “We mean fixing our village water system including saving our reservoir.”

A hearing on the increase of $2 per 1,000 gallons of water used will be before the Village Board’s next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20 due to Presidents Day that Monday.

Andrew Ludwig, a strident critic of the village’s recent water decisions who speaks regularly at the recent board meetings, promised trustees he would be there.

In other business, Ferguson mentioned that he led village trustees and Fredonia Planning Board members on tours of Dunkirk and Fredonia’s water plants Feb. 2. “It was quite enlightening,” said Trustee Ben Brauchler.

The trustees made a move Feb. 7 to buttress their Dec. 26 decision. In a walk-on resolution, they voted 4-0 to hire village engineer of record LaBella for environmental compliance and grant preparation work, at a cost not to exceed $13,500.

“This is the first time I’ve heard about this. I’m not going to vote right now on this,” said Trustee Michelle Twichell, who voted “no” on the Dec. 26 resolution.

Also, trustees voted to purchase a “scatter meter” to improve water turbidity measurements at the plant, a move Twichell took a moment to talk up. That will cost $6,516.

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