County to test airport firefighting foam

Chautauqua County is looking to be able to test the foam in its emergency truck at the Jamestown airport to make sure the foam is and stays environmentally friendly.

During the recent legislature meeting, lawmakers voted 17-1 to apply for a federal grant to buy equipment that would allow the airport to meet the federal requirements to test its Aqueous Film Forming Foam.

Some firefighting foam is known to have PFAS, sometimes called “forever chemicals.” Traces of PFAS were found in the village of Mayville’s water system which forced them to drill new wells and install a filtering system. It is believed the PFAS got into the water from a firefighting exercise on the grounds near the former Mayville High School.

County airports manager Shannon Fischer told the legislature that the airport was asked by the Federal Aviation Administration to apply for the grant. “This equipment would be added on to our current ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting) Truck,” she said.

Fischer said originally the county was looking to buy a new $860,000 ARFF truck, with the county having to pay $43,000. By comparison, the equipment, instead, will cost $28,000 and the county will only have to spend $1,400.

For select FAA grants, the federal government pays 90%, the state pays 5% and the county pays 5%.

Fischer said the county’s ARFF truck is a 2006 vehicle, however she said it’s in “great shape” and doesn’t need to be replaced at this time.

Voting against the resolution was Legislator Bob Scudder, R-Fredonia. He did not comment on his vote. Scudder generally votes against any airport resolution grants that require the county spending money.

In other business:

– A public hearing was set for May 22 at 6:35 p.m. at the legislature chambers regarding construction and improvements to the North Chautauqua County Water District.

Plans call for the replacement of up to 6,300 feet along Route 5 in the town of Portland between Brocton and the town of Pomfret; installation of 2,100 feet along Williams Street between South Roberts Road and Bennett Road; installation of 3,500 feet along Bennett Road in the towns of Pomfret and Dunkirk; replacement of up to 4,500 feet along Route 5 in the town of Dunkirk between the town of Sheridan and the city line; installation of 6,000 feet along Route 5 in the town of Portland; and installation of new master water pits at municipal boundaries and at the boundary of Water District 1.

The estimated maximum cost of the improvements as modified would increase from about $19.4 million to $27.6 million, and the annual district debt service payment would increase from $395,050 to $562,394.

– Twan Leenders was appointed to the county Parks Commission. Jacob Bodway, Steven Sanberg, Martha Anderson, Tom Erlandson and Robert Franzen were reappointed.


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