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Dunkirk Town Board scrutinizes state of fire hydrants

DUNKIRK – Resident concerns about the condition of fire hydrants drew the attention of Dunkirk Town Board members meeting Tuesday in Town Hall.

Several residents of homes on private roads said they are worried about the usefulness of fireplugs, that there was no proof there was adequate water flow or that some hydrants would function at all. It has been years since tests were done, others said.

“We have about 63 hydrants in the township,” said Councilman Robert Penharlow, who added that a complete report on water flow and needed repairs should be provided to Town Board members as soon as possible.

The Council members agreed to interview private contractors to do inspections and testing of hydrants. Funding for the project will come out from town water district revenue.

Town Supervisor Richard Purol said he talked to volunteers from both the East Town and West Town fire departments.

“They would not have time to do this project this year,” Purol said. “We were assuming the City of Dunkirk was doing it.”

“I have made a suggestion that the volunteers have a tanker drill and show you what can be done without hydrants,” said Purol, addressing the residents, who live in the western part of the town, by Route 5. “We cannot depend on the hydrants, so that’s why we have tankers.”

Purol said the town may not be able to correct the hydrant water-pressure problem and added that corrective measures would be taken as the town improves its water distribution systems.

In a related matter, Purol noted he supports the proposed Northern Chautauqua County Regional Water District, which would provide more residents with public water. He added, however, that he has some concerns about the contract presented to the town and will continue discussions with county officials.

The residents also called in the Town Board to consider taking over private roads, for maintenance and snowplowing purposes,

In other business:

• Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Mourer said building permits have been issued to Harbor Freight, Domino’s and Hibbett Sports for new business locations and noted managers of Nestle-Purina said they are considering another building to the company campus in the industrial park. The new structure would be partially in the city and the town, he added.

• A public hearing on the town’s comprehensive plan and recommendations from the steering committee working on it will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 6.

• A group representing the Daughters of the War of 1812 asked permission to place a plaque near the town’s monument to the first shot fired during the war. Purol said he will continue discussions with the group on the historic marker.