SILVER CREEK – A close call with a potential flooding situation hit residential areas of Silver Creek on Sunday.
The neighborhoods of Dana, Rex and Oliver Place were awakened at about 7 a.m. Sunday with warnings from the Fire Department that evacuations may be necessary, Mayor Nick Piccolo said Monday.
Heavy equipment was brought in to break up ice in the creek. He said it was nine inches thick in some places and up to 14 inches thick near the mouth of the creek at Jackson Street.
Crews have been put on alert that more help may be needed to break up the ice and form a channel, the mayor added.
The freezing temperatures this winter have caused frozen pipes and damaged some water meters.
Village Water-Sewer Superintendent Herm Griewisch said residents are responsible for paying the cost of replacing a meter when it is frozen. Cost for replacement meters ranges from $148 to $168.
In the meantime, water meter replacement as part of the overall water line improvement project is continuing. There are still several hundred homes that do not have new meters.
Piccolo said he will draft a letter to all residents who have refused to allow the workers into their homes to replace the old meters. Water service may be shut off in cases where the resident refuses.
In other business, the board members adopted a local law that would allow village taxes to exceed the New York State tax cap. The budget process has already started in Silver Creek. Department heads were asked to file a budget with the mayor by the end of this week.
The village’s fiscal year begins June 1.
Trustee Anthony Pearl said he met with court office staff and found out that the court operation is profitable. He said there was a decline in tickets from 2012 to 2013 and attributed this to the transition between the village’s Police Department and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office.
Board members also adopted the Planning Board recommendation for a “complete streets” policy. The new policy will promote neighborhoods where pedestrian, bicycle and motorist traffic are incorporated to encourage local business.