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Town OKs hiring for specs on paint job

The Marilla Town Board this week decided to hire an engineering firm to draw up bid specifications to paint the town's water tank.

"It takes two to three months to paint it," Supervisor George Gertz said, adding that the Erie County Water Authority cannot legally help with the bidding process, as board members believed.

"The [county] Health Department is the one that is insisting it be painted," Gertz said. "They do daily testing of water in multiple systems, not necessarily in Marilla. However, if they do and [the tank] fails, they will shut it down immediately."

While agreeing to paint the tank, the Town Board did not agree yet to a takeover of the town's water districts by the Water Authority, as suggested by Gertz several weeks ago as a cost-saving measure. The board is still looking for alternative plans.

Last month, some board members recommended not turning the water districts over to the authority and replacing the water tower with a new, larger one, as well as a new pumping station at the town park. After listening to a cost report by town engineers Nussbaumer and Clark, that idea was scratched due to the cost.

Gertz said he would like the districts to make the decision. He recommends setting up one meeting in each district, probably this fall.

"I'm for it, but it's up to the public," the supervisor said.

Board member Beth Ackerman suggested the town consider creating a water department and hiring someone to run it.

The Highway Department would become "the office of public works," she said, "and we would have control of our water." She offered to do more research before the public meetings.

In other action, the board:

* Learned that Jason Engel, farmland protection consultant from Cardinal Design, will be at the next board work session on April 24 to discuss flag lots and farmland protection.

* Asked the town attorney at that same meeting to discuss the 1984 state and town law that requires newly rezoned land not built on within one year to revert back to the old zoning, without further board action.