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Alert system CodeRED is a go for the village of North Collins

NORTH COLLINS — The North Collins Village Board members said that they were so impressed with the capabilities of the CodeRED® emergency notification system that they agreed to enter into a three-year contract for the service, during their Sept. 3 meeting.

The system will notify village residents via phone, cellphone or other device, when an emergency situation exists. It may also be used to announce community events.

While the firm operating the system said that it can obtain 80 percent of the necessary contact information, the village will solicit its residents to voluntarily add other contact points, such as cellphone numbers or email accounts.

Mayor Vincent George said that the system would have proved very helpful the week prior, when an unnecessary water use ban was put into effect. He also reported speaking with the Hamburg town supervisor about an incident in which this system helped locate several children and adults who became lost, during the Erie County Fair.

The CodeRED program will cost the village $1,500 per year, during the contract period.

The village also received a proposed contract with the Erie County Land Bank and will spend the month reviewing it, possibly taking action during its October meeting. Village Attorney Richard Schaus took the lead in discussing the agreement, saying, “It would help address dilapidated properties,” but also cautioned, “There are costs associated for the village.”

Schaus listed those costs as the village’s being responsible for foreclosure fees, maintenance of the properties while they await auction and 50 percent of the property taxes collected on the parcel, for a five-year-period.

The attorney endorsed the pact and said, “I don’t know if we have the resources to turn properties around on our own. I think its worth a try, perhaps for a few years, and see how it goes.”

Village Code Enforcement Officer Phil Tremblay said, “I think it’s a great idea. I see it as a win-win.” Tremblay said he had just attended a presentation about the operation of the program and reported that the land bank is still attempting to gain additional startup funds to proceed. Schaus said that another presentation would be given, later in the week, and that he and George planned to attend.

The land bank would acquire title to problem properties and either raze or rehabilitate them. Restored structures would be sold, replenishing the land bank’s coffers, along with the five-year, 50 percent property tax fee, allowing the bank to continue operations.

The board also amended the current Helmuth Fire Control contract, to allow the dispatch center to utilize reserve funds when available, to update equipment without having to secure approval from the participating governments.

Additional points in the amendment recorded that the Seneca Nation of Indians will take lead-agency status with Helmuth, beginning Jan. 1. Until then, the town of North Collins will retain the lead. The amendment will also need signatures from the towns of North Collins and Collins, as well as the Cattauragus Reservation, to go into effect.

In a related matter, George repeated his dissatisfaction with the $20,000 assessment levied on the village for participation in the Helmuth Center.

Schaus said that the current contract allows municipalities to withdraw from the agreement on Oct. 1 of each year. With that date at hand, a proposal to seek additional funding from the town for the service will be attempted. “I would be happy with a $15,000 yearly fee,” George said.

The mayor reported that he has been in contact with both Erie County Legislator John Mills and the County Industrial Development Agency, as promised road work at railroad crossings in the village have not yet begun. The village department of public works has performed some patching work at the crossings, as a stopgap.

George said he was informed that the county would perform the work this year and that a prefabricated solution for the Langford Road crossing was being assembled.

The mayor also said that the slabs to mount the new pump station and water treatment building are in and all the piping connections from the wells to the new pads, as well as connections to the main line, are complete. The prefabricated buildings are expected to be delivered Oct. 1. and be fully operational by Oct. 29.

Schaus reported that he had sent a letter to Howard Purdy concerning a parcel of land at the north end of the village and the possibility of eminent domain’s being used to secure access.

The property, which is currently being farmed, is a key component in plans to reduce flooding in the village by diverting water into Franklin Gulf Creek, according to the attorney.

Purdy has not responded to village requests, to date. Schaus asked that the owner give his intentions to the board by the October meeting.

The North Collins Village Board will next meet at 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 in the village hall.
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2013-09-21 | 11:32:45
Elena
Glad to see the outreach to the community. For people who live outside (or work outside) the North Collins Village, go to www.usnear.org to sign up anywhere there's a system like this. Thousands of US counties have some kind of emergency notification service, so this address (www.usnear.org) is a great way to find one page that can get to them all.
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