County Water Agency Established

MAYVILLE – The future of Chadwick Bay Regional Development Corporation’s proposed regional water district is bright.

The establishment of the Chautauqua County Water Agency, consisting of three county legislators and eight elected officials representing municipalities to be included in Phase 1 of the proposed water supply program, was resolved Tuesday night in Mayville at the county’s Public Facilities Committee meeting.

“I think this is a great first step to provide a reliable water supply,” Tom Erlandson, D-Frewsburg, said.

Chadwick Bay and the Department of Health and Human Services cooperated in the study of water supply needs in northern Chautauqua County and identified the potential development of a Chadwick Bay regional water supply program, presented to the legislature in August.

Tuesday night, Kathy Tampio, executive director for Chadwick Bay, attended the meeting to suggest a ninth member be added to the group of eight elected officials representing the district’s municipalities.

Tampio said Dunkirk’s City Council previously had questions about both the agency and water district, and in a special meeting between Chadwick Bay and Dunkirk’s council, additional information was provided.

Dunkirk’s involvement with the water district is essential, as it has the highest population of any involved municipality.

“Dunkirk is what we call ‘the hub’ of the system,” Tampio said, and it would be the main supplier.

Erlandson was concerned that Fredonia is not on the list of participating towns and villages.

“We hope they’ll be a member in the future,” Tampio said.

Another concern brought up after Tampio’s suggestion of an additional member was the fact that the agency will now consist of an even number. County Attorney Stephen Abdella suggested an even number changes the amount needed for a majority vote.

Traditionally, an uneven number of members “doesn’t result in unequal representation,” Abdella said.

All Public Facilities members agreed that the number could be amended down the road, possibly to include Fredonia.

Furthermore, the County Legislature will review the makeup of the County Water Agency as later phases of the project are developed.