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High acidity blamed for color found in water in the Village of North Collins

Although the Village of North Collins continues to benefit from its water system, officials have been receiving sporadic complaints of color in the water ranging from blue to green.

Director of Public Works, Michael Perry addressed the problem at the May 7 Board meeting and blamed the water’s high acidity. According to Perry, the acid is interacting with copper pipes at various points in the system releasing the color. He has mitigated the situation by manually increasing the amount of soda ash added to the water treatment but admitted that the results can be spotty with the old system.

He has been assured by project engineers that the situation should be remedied once the new pump house is placed into operation expected sometime in the following week. According to Perry the new pump digitally monitors water quality and automatically adds the necessary amounts of chemicals to make the water neutral. It will also premix the water rather than rely on water turbulence to dissipate the ingredients. He also planned to begin flushing hydrants soon to further reduce any residual copper already in lines. He also announced that the new water line along Thiel Road was complete and that a crew will return to landscape and seed the affected areas in one visit.

Perry further reported that his department had fabricated and installed basket hangers along Main Street to meet plans to hang flowers beginning this year. Trustee Karen Denne said that flowers have been ordered and are expected to arrive prior to Memorial Day.

The Board also heard from Trustee Brenda Bauer-Petrus that at the most recent meeting of the Helmuth Advisory Council, the possibility arose of the Seneca Nation might take over lead-agency status for Helmuth Fire Control. Escalating costs for running the dispatch center have been an item of concern for the village. Additionally, Bauer-Petrus said that the Council had requested an audit of Helmuth operations from current lead-agency the Town of North Collins and Supervisor Rosaline Seege. The council expects the information at its July meeting.

While Perry reported that phase 2 of a water diversion, flood mitigation project would begin the following week, Mayor Vincent George read correspondence from the county that permits the village to begin to tap a $100,000 Federal Community Development Block Grant that was approved last year. The grant had been held up while a determination was made if the area affected by the project met program guidelines.

George also reported that two village businesses, Shelly’s Convenience and Three Star Restaurant have applied to participate in a 50/50 county grant program for commercial improvements. He hoped that seeing the project’s outcome would encourage additional businesses to participate as well.

Animal control was on the table as at least one very large raccoon has been making the rounds along Pine Street seemingly unconcerned about people nearby. Police Administrator Richard Cooper said shooting the animal by officers would be dangerous due to the proximity of so many homes in the area. It was agreed to contact the dog warden to set a live trap and remove the animal from the village. Additionally, one resident in the Harrison-Railroad Avenue area complained about persistent dog barking from a neighboring parcel. She was encouraged to notify the dog warden and to contact the police as well.

Resident Cecil Lee requested the board review the open burning law, specifically to allow residents to utilize fire pits for small backyard fires. Trustee Thomas O’Boyle said the village is bound by state law on the issue and has no say. Mayor George said if a resident has a very small fire he does not suspect the police will interfere. While Cooper said that complaints to the police are not usually due to the size of the fire but rather the amount of smoke they produce.

O’Boyle made the board aware of a recent ordinance enacted by the Town of Evans requiring a permit for owners of two or more apartments. The permit is good for two years and permits enforcement of building codes and that the apartments are both habitable and safe. He believes the village could benefit from a similar law.

Bauer-Petrus reported that new regulations mandate that municipalities obtain a State Dept. of Transportation permit prior to conducting a parade on a state road. She thought the measure could impact the annual Memorial Day Parade in the village which is conducted along Route 62. The village will investigate the procedure.

The Board set June 28, 29 and 30 as dates for a no-permit required, village-wide garage sale. Details will be publicized and Bauer-Petrus hoped addresses of all participating homes could be advertised.

Cooper reported that the recent drug drop off day collected 85 pounds of unwanted medications. He noted that drugs were dropped off from residents of neighboring towns as well. He also announced that the police department would be conducting interviews for a patrol position.

Fire Chief Jim Miller reported that three active firefighters have been added to the roster. He also said the fire company would host a live-burn exercise on May 18th. The other fire companies in town will participate as well and the structure should allow for multiple evolutions for training.

Expenditures of $112,535.40 were approved for payment.


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