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Fredonia: Drops of worry fill village bucket

Fredonia’s water problems continue to be a comedy of errors. If the situation were not so serious there might be a slight bit of humor to it.

Village officials, during a workshop last week, again criticized the contractors regarding the slow pace of improvements to an out-of-date and fragile water treatment plant. First, Trustee James Lynden went on the attack before Chris Surma, plant operator, offered his two cents noting the firm doing the work has not visited the facility.

“I’ve never worked with engineers who haven’t been on the site to see what the project is, especially one of this magnitude,” Surma said. “They send their inspectors, and they’re great guys, but I’m showing them what’s going on and somehow it didn’t get back to Syracuse (where the OBG firm’s headquarters are).”

There’s likely a bit of truth in this tale of woe. However, the village gets what it deserves.

For years, it has allowed the plant to operate without improvements. It lost its largest water user in Carriage House six years ago — and now asks residents to pay more for water to make up for that gap.

What’s needed here is leadership — not petty bickering. Fredonia had options in the last decade regarding water distribution. It was asked to be part of the north county water district, even as a supplier. It said no thank you.

Today, villagers — and businesses — live with constant fears the water system could fail at any moment. That’s an unfortunate reality. If the worst does happen, then what?

Water issues in the village always teeter on a crisis. That is no way to promote new business or a safe lifestyle.

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