Project Update

Busti Town Board Discusses Reception Of Grant

The Busti Town Board met Monday for its monthly meeting. The board heard the updates on the swale project on Chautauqua Lake. P-J photo by William Mohan

LAKEWOOD–The Busti Town Board heard an update on the organizational priorities for 2019.

Members of the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Alliance updated the village on the status of it’s involvement with the ongoing swale project. The project was initiated in July 2018. The alliance assists municipalities in securing funding and resources for municipalities, watershed organizations, etc. to implement recommendations from the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan.

A swale is a strategically placed low-lying channel that reduces erosion, water velocities and water undercutting. At the same time, swales also promote natural and artificial infiltration and create a natural habitat for wildlife. Two types of swales would be employed for the project: shallow gradient and steep gradient.

The town recently received a Water Quality Improvement Project Grant from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. That grant funded a stormwater study that was conducted in 2016 by the town, the village of Lakewood, Chautauqua County and the Chautauqua Lake Association, the State Evironmental Facilities Corporation, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the alliance. The goal of the alliance was to build an irrigation pipeline along the lake. It was finalized in May 2018. The grants were based on four of the alliance’s six member submissions. The grants were awarded by the State Regional Economic Development Council in December 2018.

“It’s pretty exciting to build a project pipeline that we all have been in partnership with since 2016,” Alliance Executive Director, Erin Brickley said. “It really speaks to the partnerships that have been formed and have been working ove the last couple of years.”

Brickley explained that because Busti is part of the alliance, it will receive special services to help the project move forward. She explained that the project is in the predevelopment design.

“As far as the project development. the match systems (from Chautauqua County and the alliance) of grant writing, those are part of your membership services with the alliance,” Brickley explained. “Once the projects are awarded funding and go into implementation phase, our project alliance manager Randall Perry steps in and takes the lead on project implementation.”

The county committed $5,000 for the project. The alliance committed $22,906.

Perry then explained the next steps in the project.

“The town is the grantee so the town issues procurements, signs contracts, etc.,” Perry said. “We are here to make sure the project goes smoothly, meets expectations and results in a high quality project but also get paid back for the money due from the state when the project is all done.”

Busti would also receive reimbursement grants while the project is being implemented.

“As you spend the money per your invoices you get reimbursed after,” Brickley explained.

“Typically it’s quarterly based so as costs are incurred, reimbursement requests are put in and the state is usually returns in two to three months,” Perry added. “We can pace the payment requests and the way the invoices are staggered and the payment terms that the town reaches with its contractors.”

“I think interested and knowledgeable people can be involved in certain parts of the project,” councilman James Andrews said. “That’s a great value.”

Approximately 2,100 steep and 2,500 shallow grades would be enhanced sediment load reductions by 2.7 tons per year and 3.3 tons per year for each type of swale. Steep swales in Busti are projected to reduce phosphorus by 12 pounds for year and nitrogen by 60.9 pounds a year. Shallow swales in Busti are projected to annually reduce 12.9 pounds of phosphorus and 52.3 pounds of nitrogen.

In other news, the board agreed to reduce the speed limit from 55 to 50 mph on its section of Southwestern Drive. That section extends from Hunt Road and Baker Street in Lakewood.