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North Collins village mulls bonding remaining water diversion work

During its Nov. 12 meeting, the village of North Collins Board leaned toward the prospect of issuing bond anticipation notes to complete a flood mitigation project as soon as possible.

Having utilized $100,000 in Community Block Grant funding awarded last year for the project, village Mayor Vincent George said that it could be as late as next year when the village is again eligible for the grant; even then, the money would not be a sure thing.

Mark Cavalcoli of CRA Engineering reported that, with a long-sought easement close at hand, the time to begin was ideal.

Cavalcoli estimated that it would take perhaps another $80,000 for construction to complete the job, but noted current bond interest rates are in the 1 – 2 percent range.

His firm, which serves as consultant and engineer on the nearly completed water line project, has done preliminary site study for the diversion project. He estimated that a complete engineering study and design, along with securing all needed permits, should not exceed $28,000. The board approved retaining CRA, to draw up those plans.

The project is designed to redirect water currently flowing downhill into the village and divert it north, first along Eagle Drive and then across farmland, to empty into Franklin Gulf Creek.

Cavalcoli said that much of the work can be performed by village department of public works crews, but other technical aspects will be needed, outside contractors. He reported that the sheer drop near the creek will require engineered steps, to slow the water flow down.

Permits will also have to be obtained from the department of environmental conservation, as well as the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Reporting on the status of the new water lines, Cavalcoli said that the new pump station and treatment facility are waiting for only electric and gas hook-ups. With those features in place, he estimated that the new system will be fully operational, within a month.

The mayor, along with Village Attorney Richard Schaus, responded to a printed newspaper advertisement issued by a Vermont Street family, claiming the village had created sewer problems and denying the local individuals the use of their home.

Schaus gave a history of the parcel, beginning in 2010. He acknowledged that a contractor, working for the village, damaged the sewer line under the street, which was repaired by the contractor. Two years later, the residents complained that their sewer was not functioning. A camera inspection determined that the problem was the improper pitch of the sewer line from the house to the street, on private property.

A claim and later suit were launched and later withdrawn by the residents, according to Schaus.

George said that not only is the problem on private property, but it involves the sewer that concerns the Erie County Authority, not the village.

In other board matters:

– The New York Municipal Insurance Reserve announced it would be refunding $8,112 to the village this year, and expected to return $947 in each of the next two years. The NYMIR, which is comprised of New York municipalities, provides insurance protection.

– The board approved spending $3,950 for the Industrial Appraisal Company to complete a full appraisal of all village buildings and equipment. The last full valuation was done in 2004.

– Lake Shore Behavioral Health Inc. told the village that a small chemical-dependency clinic would be added to the services currently offered at its Spruce Street location.

– Interest was shown in an offer of up to $5 million in grant funding from the State Financial Restructuring Board. The village will seek more information about the project, which would fund changes brought about by the state board's guidance. Concern was raised that these recommendations would be binding.

– Delinquent taxes in the amount of $47,722 were transferred to the county for reimbursement and recovery. Village Clerk Lynn Maciejewski said the figure was about $5,000 – $6,000 higher than last year.

– Police Administrator Richard Cooper reported that patrols have been reduced for the winter schedule. The recent drug take-back retrieved 55 pounds of drugs and 5 pounds of needles. Most significant, Cooper said, was that a large amount of narcotics was collected.

– Fire Chief Jim Miller commended department of public works head Mike Perry for his quick action in knocking down a fire outside the village office. A smokers stand ignited, sending flames up the vinyl siding on the structure.

– Miller also reported that his department has answered 45 calls for the year, to date, and that 653 training hours were given by personnel.

– To address the charred siding at the village hall, the board approved the bid of $660 by Custom Gutters, to perform the necessary repair work.

– The board approved issuance of a one-year bond anticipation note in the amount of $5,000 for a 1993 American LaFrance fire engine, as well as a $10,000 BAN for the new water tower; both notes will be paid in full, next year.

The village board will next meet at 7 p.m. on Dec. 3 in the village hall.

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