DUNKIRK – The Erie County Water Authority plans to compete with the city for the role of supplier to the proposed Northern Chautauqua Regional Water District.
An authority advertisement set to appear Wednesday in the Dunkirk Observer that encourages residents to call their elected officials to inquire about the progress of the water system says the Water Authority, or ECWA, is ready to establish a transmission line from Sturgeon Point, where its treatment facility is located, to Chautauqua County.
Water Authority Chairman Earl L. Jann said a 30-inch transmission line to the northern area of Chautauqua County could be established in 18 months if a contract is signed.
Jann also said the authority could sell water for less than the City of Dunkirk – at a bulk rate of $2.30 per 1,000 gallons. Mayor A.J. Dolce said the city is looking for a bulk rate of $3.57 per 1,000 gallons. Dolce said that in both cases, local municipalities would have to tack on administrative fees, maintenance costs and other charges. Customers would pay more than the bulk rate.
The mayor said that he looked at the advertisement and that some of the dollar figures were not easily understood. He said the ad suggests that the northern Chautauqua communities would need to make further investments.
“We are ready to serve the north county as a water supplier now,” Dolce said, adding that the city’s treatment plant can produce more than 6 million gallons a day – enough for the planned regional district.
Jann said the Water Authority proposal would not require water storage tanks or pumping stations.
“We already pump a lot of water in Chautauqua County,” he said, noting that the Village of Silver Creek and the Town of Hanover are customers of the authority.
“We are a nonprofit; all we do is sell water,” Jann said, adding that the authority presented the idea to County Executive Vincent W. Horrigan about three weeks ago.
“I am surprised at all this,” Dolce said. “It is my goal to have the regional water system in place by the end of the year.”