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The Marilla Town Board Thursday narrowly voted to establish Water District 4 covering the northeast section of town.

Formation of the district is subject to a permissive referendum.

Councilman Joseph Holcomb and Councilwoman Mary Giambra voted against the district with the current boundaries. Holcomb said he would like to table the matter, feeling it would be a "nightmare to administer" as drawn.

He and Mrs. Giambra wanted to expand the district to include parcels on Four Rod and Bullis roads even though current owners there will not use the water.

Holcomb suggested a non-benefit user fee of $10 or $15 for owners until the water lines serve them.

Supervisor John Foss said he was against enlarging the district because the parcels in question were in his opinion "prime farmland" and expanding the district would set a precedent.

Councilman Earl Gingerich Jr. said the majority of residents in the Four Rod and Bullis roads area do not want water and the cost is not feasible.

Residents living within the boundaries of the district have 30 days to request a referendum on its formation. The number of signatures needed to force the vote is to be determined by the town's attorney.

If enough signatures aren't submitted to force a referendum, the district, Foss said, "is a go."

The cost of the district will be $2,295,000 and the financing plan includes $1,032,750 in grant funds expected to be received from the federal government, state and Erie County Water Authority.

Serial bonds in the amount of $1,262,250 will finance the remainder and will be paid off over 38 years by the residents of the district.

After Foss presented his 1998 budget to board members for their review, the board set 7 p.m. Oct. 20 for a work session on the plan, with a special meeting to approve the tentative budget to follow.

The board voted to move the November meeting up one week to Nov. 6 and set the following public hearings: 7 p.m., community development funds; 7:10 p.m., fire contract; and 7:20 p.m. 1998 budget.

Results of a survey done by the Conservation Advisory Board will be explained to the public at a special at 7:30 p.m. meeting Thursday in Town Hall.

Last spring the board sent out 2,200 surveys and received 200 responses to questions relating to the town's future.

Foss also updated the board on the status of Water District 2 litigation between the Town and Milherst Construction, the engineering firm of Joseph Lu and Milherst's bond counsel. He said he received a letter from the town's attorney, Anthony DiFilippo, that Milherst's attorney had requested a short extension to file necessary pleadings on behalf of Milherst and its bonding company.

Depositions will be taken from former Supervisor Earl Jann Jr. and members of the Town Board who were involved with the Water District 2 contract.

The town is suing Milherst for its alleged failure to install stone bedding during pipe laying as required under the Water District 2 construction contract.

In other business, the board:

Approved a building permit for the library project and waived the fees.

Set Oct. 31 as the official trick-or-treat night in the town.

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