SILVER CREEK - The recent hike in water bills surprised residents in the village of Silver Creek, but Mayor Nick Piccolo expressed during the board meeting Tuesday his willingness to work with them to resolve the issue.
"The water bills are coming in, and we are still trying to work with residents who have had high water bills," Piccolo said. "Water doesn't flow through the reader, it passes through the meter. We have been looking into some situations just to make sure that if there is a problem with the meter or reader, we can correct it."
Donald Orego of Robinson Street expressed his concern over his water bill. He explained that he had a meter installed on the outside of his house since he was at work for most of the day and the village couldn't go inside to read it. Upon receiving his bill, he called the village and was told that the two meters, one on the outside and one in the inside of his house, weren't calibrated.
"Normally it's $200 and I just got hit with a bill of $1,500," Orego said.
Piccolo answered by saying that they should have been calibrated upon installation and that the meters weren't reading the same numbers.
"The reader moves on pulses from the water that goes through the meter," Piccolo said. "Whatever was on the meter at that time; for example, if you had a reading of 42.75, the outside meter should have been set at 42.75 so they're both coordinated. If they didn't set it and it was at zero, there's going to be a difference between the reader and the meter."
Piccolo went on to say that they've found a couple of glitches in the system.
They have 1,300 meters to go through, and with the other projects taking place, they only have two people to read meters. Until the issue gets sorted out, Piccolo offered a payment plan to keep residents from paying the whole bill.
"We've had a couple here that we found that their readings were off, instead of thousands of gallons, it was in gallons," Piccolo said."
Piccolo stated that he would correct the issue if it has something to do with the hookup of the meter itself.
The board did work during the meeting to resolve two water issues. They adjusted the bills of two accounts, one due to a meter reading in the hundreds and the other deemed faulty.
They also allowed the fire department to make an offer to the Snyder Fire Department on a 1994 Sutphen apparatus.
Fire Chief Jim Tytka showed the board pictures of the two trucks they're looking at as he read off the specs. The trucks are eight-man cabs that are fully enclosed with a 500 gallon water tank and six-inch inlets, plus a front suction that is recessed in the front bumper.
"They're clean and nice looking trucks," Tytka said. "We put water in the tank and it didn't have any leaks. It's going be a heck of a truck for the village. It's a huge step up because all we've ever had is open jump-seat trucks."
The board continued going down its agenda and donated $250 to the Hanover Garden Club toward purchases for planters that were made in Chautauqua County for use in the square and village entrances. They approved NYSEG to replace the exterior lights at the DPW building and approved the costs of the new waste water treatment plant service replacement.
Piccolo concluded the board meeting by commending the fire department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Department on their coverage at the fireworks Thursday evening. He also complimented the street's department cleanup at the beach for the fireworks display.
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