Westfield Receives OK From USDA For Barcelona Water Project
WESTFIELD – Barcelona will be getting some new water lines.
“We’re very happy that we have been … awarded funding for the Barcelona water project,” said Martha Bills, Westfield town supervisor, at a recent town board meeting. “I finally got the very last piece that I’ve been waiting for that makes it absolutely official.”
The town will receive a loan of $335,000 and a grant of $750,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. The town has also received approval for the engineering contracts.
“Things are moving along,” Bills said.
However, in the best-case scenario, it will still take until at least September for all the final approval of all the necessary plans before the town can even put out a bid for the project. Bills said there are 19 items that have to be completed before putting out a bid and that the town has started working on them already.
The cost for each Barcelona resident to repay the loan will be an increase of approximately $133 per year for 38 years, which is just about what Bills expected. The town will know the final figure once it closes on the loan. Also, an additional $65 per year will be charged to start and maintain an operating and maintenance fund for the system. The duration of the operating and maintenance fund payment has yet to be determined.
“It’s exciting and we’re looking forward to moving along with it,” Bills said.
Audience member William Bauer asked what the construction period would be, to which Bills answered one to three months, depending on who does what.
Bills reported to the board about the webinar she participated in regarding the low water levels of the Great Lakes put on by the Army Corps of Engineers. The town is concerned about the water levels of Lake Erie as well as the amount of sediment in the channel.
“We’re now below normal (lake levels),” Bills said. “Everyone is facing these critical conditions, some much more than others.”
The webinar included representatives from the harbors in all the Great Lakes. There is no money to dredge the lake because it is the responsibility of the federal government, which has not passed a budget yet. The state of Michigan is in such a crisis regarding lake levels that its governor has come up with $21 million so that state can do its own dredging.
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“All of the Great Lakes and the tributaries are facing this problem for many reasons and we’ll have to see … what the condition of our harbor will be this spring and what we can do ourselves to try and help the situation,” Bills said. “It’s not as encouraging as we’d like.”
Aaron Resnick, Westfield Development Corporation director, presented an update to the board about the Barcelona-to-Chautauqua Institution multi-use trail. In April 2012, the Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Economic Development finalized the Chautauqua County Greenway Plan, which can be viewed at chautauqua.ny.us/departments/planning. Of the around 40 trail projects identified in the plan, the Barcelona-to-Chautauqua Institution trail ranked very highly.
In late October 2012, funding was received to develop a feasibility and implementation plan for this trail. A 15-member committee was created in November 2012 and out of six proposals in response in a Request for Proposal with Pashek Associates out of Pittsburgh being selected as the planning consultant.
Currently, a contract with Pashek Associates has been executed and planning has begun. The trail is being mapped, fieldwork began in March and public involvement is expected to take place soon.
The town’s annual financial report has been filed with the New York state comptroller and is available to be viewed in the town office. Past year’s reports are available online at www.openbooknewyork.com to be able to compare numbers and get an idea of trends.
Bills told those in attendance about he Chautauqua County’s Planning Department’s 20/20 newsletter, available at www.planningchautauqua.com, which lets residents know what the county has accomplished towards its comprehensive plan.
Before the meeting, the board held two public hearings regarding the need to amend cell phone tower special-use permits – one for Verizon on Hardscrabble Road and the other for Sprint on Reid Road. The amendment for Verizon allowed for the replacement of nine panel antennas, the removal of four existing feedlines and the addition of 12 new feedlines. The amendment for Sprint allowed for nine total antennas, three new lines and two new cabinets. Both SUP amendments were passed by the board with Resolutions 14, 15, 16 and 17 of 2013 without any no votes.
In other new business, a request to approve Historian Marybelle Beigh’s attendance to the Historian 2013 Spring Meeting on Saturday, April 20 in Batavia, not to exceed $100, was approved.
Finally, a request for an amendment to zoning laws regarding the regulation of outdoor markets in agricultural and residential areas was referred to the Town of Westfield Planning Board, and the town Board of Trustees will be holding a public hearing on the change of the law on Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m., before the board’s regular meeting at 7:30 p.m.
The request was made by Mei Lu and Tom Herr, properties owner on Sherman-Westfield Road, across from Cross Roads Market. Currently, the zoning law only allows indoor markets, not outdoor markets and the owners would like to hold a flea market on the weekends in good weather.