SILVER CREEK – The timetable for the town of Hanover to have a water district legally completed for residents of Bennett State Road may be unrealistic.
At the regular meeting of the town board, held Monday in Town Hall, board members heard from Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro, who said he had met with the attorney for the Village of Forestville. Passafaro said that village officials hope that the formation of a water district can be complete by March 1.
But Passafaro said this may be too soon as several steps require posting legal notices. He said the town still has to receive a formal petition from 51 percent or more of the residential property owners. He said that town board members will also need to determine the benefit of the water district to each of the owners.
There are 12 homes and one business on Bennett State Road. The locations have all been receiving water from the Village of Forestville without any formal district or agreement. As Forestville finalizes its water system improvements, it is limited to financing only the village and any other formal water district. Without a formal water district on Bennett State Road, the $250,000 spent to improve that area would require separate financing from the village project. The long-term financing for the entire village project is at no interest.
The area on Bennett State Road all lies within the Town of Hanover. Town Supervisor Todd Johnson attended a meeting with Forestville officials recently.
“I don’t see how we can accomplish all this by March 1,” said Johnson.
Besides the petition, a public hearing is required for a formal water district. The town would also have to set rules and regulations and rates to charge customers in the district.
The plan would be for Bennett State Road residents to continue to receive water from the village but be part of a town of Hanover water district. They would have to pay their bills to the town. The town board would need to set rates along with other billing charges such as operation and maintenance fees.
Attorney Passafaro presented a map of the area to the Town Board members.
In other matters, Town Board members were asked to consider dividing land on a paper street in Sunset Bay between homeowners. Chautauqua County Legislator George Borrello, R-Silver Creek, who lives in Sunset Bay, said he knows that the paper street is being used by landowners for sheds and other small structures.
Passafaro said the matter would require some research before the land could be released and deeded to property owners.
Councilman Kevin O’Connell said he met with staff at the town’s wastewater treatment plant and it was agreed that a large renovation project may not be feasible at this time.
“Due to the situation with Lake Shore Hospital, we may not want to spend a large amount of money on repairs at the plant right now,” said O’Connell. He referred to the situation where the hospital may not stay open or may not be open and using water services at the same capacity they have in the past.
O’Connell said the staff will review a priority list of needed repairs for the plant and he will report back to the town board.
O’Connell also reported on research he has been doing to establish a “quiet zone” for trains to stop blowing whistles near railroad crossings. He said he reviewed the changes that the Town of Hamburg is making to its railroad areas.
O’Connell said he will continue to look for solutions to complaints about noise from train whistles and backed up vehicle traffic near the railroad crossing areas.