CATTARAUGUS - Summers are traditionally the busiest time for public works departments, but at the Cattaraugus Village Board's recent meeting, Cattaraugus Public Works Superintendent Jason Opferbeck reported on a particularly hectic season. He said that the newly acquired paver has been put to work on Leavenworth Street and is living up to expectations. He next plans to use the machine on Franklin Street, and later on West Hill if time and weather permit.
Opferbeck said he hoped to move his street chip-sealing program from August back to July to take advantage of a recent drop in oil prices. This will involve parts of South Street, and also Memorial Drive, where his goal is to seal the gutter and road edges to help prevent erosion.
The super also mentioned that he had recently learned of a gravel pit formerly used by the village near the far end of North Franklin Street. He said he's trying to make the hillside road to the location passable. "Crews working on the Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School project are being good enough to dump excavated material from their work site to fill in the washouts," he said. "Once we get the road fixed up, we might be able to mine gravel there again. That would be a big savings to the village."
Trustee McGlew pointed out that there might be environmental issues involved.
On another subject, Opferbeck said he had ordered chlorine monitors for the two village spring sites. "Otherwise, we have to take three samples a day, at least four hours apart, from both sites," he explained. Since one spring is located over halfway to Little Valley on Rte. 353, and the other is on Mayo Rd. off the Little Valley-New Albion Rd., each test would involve considerable time and mileage. "We'd be running into overtime on a regular basis," he said.
The super was unable to say exactly when the monitors would be installed. "It'll take from two to three weeks to get them here," he said, "and probably another two to three weeks to install them. He said he felt his own crew could erect the small buildings needed to house the monitors outside the two springhouses.
He estimated the cost of the monitors at $13,500 and the cost of the Airlink Modems that automatically transmit the information collected, at $1,800.
Opferbeck said he wanted to see another section of sidewalk installed this year. He said he'd been contacted by two area businesses interested in doing the work; Performance Excavating and Countryside Landscape Borders. He asked if he could bring the quotes in for a brief special meeting, so they could be examined, and the job assigned and started.
The Village Board took up a couple of negative cash flow situations, chief among them, how to pay the $12,500 charged by the United States Marshal's Office for "maintaining" the Setter Brothers building for the two years they held it. Since this was an unplanned, and therefore unbudgeted expense, it has temporarily stymied the board.
The board was able to pay off the marshals and secure the building by borrowing the required money interest-free from the Cattaraugus Local Development Corporation. However, as Treasurer Gene Doucette pointed out, the loan still has to be repaid, interest or not.
In another situation, the board pondered how to pay for a new plow truck before selling the old one. DPW Super Opferbeck advised them during the meeting that a newly ordered plow truck would be delivered within a month. The old one would not be put up for sale for at least another month. Opferbeck explained that putting the two vehicles side by side during transfer and installation of accessories and equipment, greatly facilitates the process.
Mayor Myers summed up the problem by saying, "It's very early in the budget year, but it looks like next month, we'd better revisit the budget situation."