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The Common Council has set the wheels in motion to increase water and sewer rates by 6 percent.

The Council Tuesday night introduced laws that would enact the increases. The Council will meet Oct. 28 to consider the measures, with Mayor Margaret Wuerstle holding a public hearing the same day.

The increases would be effective Nov. 1.

The increases, designed to raise an additional $250,000, are necessary because both the water fund and wastewater fund need more money, former Fiscal Affairs Officer Charles Herron explained.

If the increases are not enacted, property taxes would need to be increased by an additional $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, to $5.96, Fiscal Affairs Officer Michael Heath added.

Herron also noted that a "major industrial user" of the wastewater-treatment plant developed a pretreatment facility and paid $600,000 less in 1995 and is expected to pay $600,000 less than expected in 1996. Fieldbrook Farms Ice Cream Co. was identified as the user.

In other matters:

The Council approved a law to permit master plumbers from another city to apply for a local license without taking a test. The law is a step toward reciprocity between Dunkirk and Jamestown, where officials want master plumbers able to work between the two communities. Also, this will allow Dunkirk residents access to more master plumbers, officials said.

The Council also approved water and sewer hook-ups for a site on Progress Drive in the North County Industrial Park for a possible distribution center.

Municipalities composing the Chadwick Bay Region have determined this as a prime site for a proposed distribution center, but backup sites are available, Mayor Wuerstle said after the meeting.

"The infrastructure is outstanding. The water tower and pump station are in service. There is plenty of water and sewer for the project," Randy Woodbury, director of public works, commented during the meeting.

The land is owned by the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency. Peter J. Smith Co. of Buffalo has asked for proposals from developers. A meeting will be held with potential developers on Oct. 23, Mayor Wuerstle said.

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