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North Collins Village to seek grant extension

NORTH COLLINS — The papers granting the village of North Collins an easement to divert water away from sections of the village that have historically flooded are signed. But the municipality now faces another challenge: keeping the balance of the $100,000 in Federal Block Grant funds it received for the project.

According to Village Attorney Richard Schaus, speaking at the board’s March 4 meeting, approximately $80,000 has been spent on various components of the water diversion project; $60,000 of that was from the grant. “Normally, a grant expires after one year,” Schaus said, adding that the final phase of the project was tied up, as negotiations ensued, to secure the necessary easement.

The agreement will allow water that normally runs down into the village to be diverted north and empty into Franklin Gulf Creek. Schaus said that communication was important to retaining the funding, as well as prevent negative reviews about future projects for which the village might seek assistance.

The board adopted a suggestion by Schaus to write a letter to Erie County, explaining the length of the project and requesting continued use of the funds, this year.

A public hearing about the 2014 – 2015 village budget was scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on April 1, as part of the board’s regular monthly meeting.

The board also approved sending a letter of support toward a push by various village communities opposing a property tax freeze proposal by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Acting Mayor Brenda Bauer-Petrus said that such an action “would hurt villages such as North Collins, who have already implemented efficiencies and engaged in shared services.”

Trustee Paul Carozzi said that the latest date for activation of the new pump station is March 17. The delay has come as the village is waiting for homeowners to install pressure-reducing valves in their homes, to prevent any problems the increased pressure might cause.

Carozzi said, “Older homes with galvanized pipes would be most at risk,” and added that, while all homes have been provided with the valves by the village, the homeowners are not required to install the parts. If they encounter problems, though, the village would not be held responsible.

In other board news:
– The bond anticipation note for the High Street reconstruction and waterline drainage projects was extended for one year, in the amount of $120,000.

– Village elections will be held from noon – 9 p.m. on March 18 in the village hall.

– The board affirmed the results, following elections in the North Collins Volunteer Fire Company.

The next village board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on April 1.

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