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Newsmaker of the month: Lack of action with water tough to swallow

Volunteers continue to distribute water in the village of Fredonia Thursday morning.

Users of the Fredonia water system must be celebrating. As of today, they have not had to boil water for one month.

Talk about a reason to raise a glass.

But problems remain — and there appears to be little urgency for a fix from its leaders. At the most recent Village Board meeting, trustees are bickering over paying $55,000 for recent work on filters to help keep the water clean.

In the big picture, that is a drop in the bucket. Those leaders today — and in the past — knew a day of reckoning would be coming with the water system. It’s not just simple maintenance, it is a major overhaul that could be to the tune of more than $10 million.

By the way, those funds are not coming from Albany or Washington, D.C. Village water users, whoever wants to be on this sinking ship, will be on the hook for those dollars.

Regional solutions are the only way to go in this day and age. But Fredonia’s Village Board has always thought it knew best — and stayed out of any discussion that involved common sense.

That is why the village remains an island when it comes time to talk consolidation or sharing services. Besides, with four boil-water orders over the last decade, what other community really wants to team with a village system that is notorious for breakdowns?

Standing pat, which is what Fredonia traditionally does, is not only destructive — it also puts a dagger in any future development plans while driving away students from a state university because those young adults believe in environmentally friendly solutions. That do not involve plastics for water distribution.

This is serious stuff. Too bad the Village Board always seems more content to fumble around on insignificant issues. An obvious crisis is coming again. How much longer do they wait?

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