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The Alden Town Board wants to move ahead with the planning of a possible fifth water district.

Supervisor Richard Savage said town officials are drawing up a master map of residents favoring adding water service to town roads. He said town officials have been working on this phase of the effort since the summer.

"We've been at this point too long," Savage said. "We need to move forward."

The town recently polled property owners of 550 Alden parcels of land. It is estimated that at least one-fifth of the town does not receive Erie County Water Authority service.

Savage said cost estimates for establish a fifth water district have not yet been done. He said the town first needs to determine the demand.

"There are definitely some areas that can use it," Savage said. "We haven't seen the (survey) cards. We're waiting to look at what the responses were."

Councilman James Uebelhoer, the Water Committee chairman, said residents had been given additional time to fill out survey response cards after the unusually dry summer. Town officials said some residents learned over the summer that they would need a new water source because their wells went dry or were difficult to use.

Uebelhoer said Town Board members were first given initial survey information in September.

"We let the results come into July, because of the water shortage," Uebelhoer said.

He said 60 percent of residents on several town streets have expressed interest in being in a water district.

Town officials said that among the streets with at least 60 percent of residents expressing interest were portions of Genesee Street, Crittenden Road, Cayuga Creek Road, Exchange Street, Zoeller Road and Three Rod Road.

"It's been a big thing," Uebelhoer said of expanding water service. "It is getting to be a big thing with the summer we had."

He said several residents had problems with their wells.

"We had a lot of people with salt in their wells," Uebelhoer said. "We had a lot of people with bacteria in their wells."

Uebelhoer said town officials will not know until December exactly which roads will be considered for new water service.

Officials said an engineering study also will need to be done before a proposal for water district could go before residents.

Savage said a new water district can either be approved by referendum or through petitioning town government.

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