Sedota suggests water cost analysis to board

Pictured is James Sedota who spoke to the Fredonia Board of Trustees Monday night.

Fredonia’s longtime administrator and treasurer returned to Village Hall this week to tell the Board of Trustees they should get a formal, in-depth cost analysis before making decisions about water sources.

James Sedota, who resigned in 2020, was allowed to go well past the three-minute limit for public speakers as he discussed the need for another study regarding village water issues. The LaBella engineering firm recently completed a comprehensive study on issues bedeviling the Fredonia water system.

Mayor Douglas Essek said Monday the LaBella report should be on the village’s website by week’s end, after lawyers from village law firm Webster Szanyi look it over and make redactions. An abbreviated version of the report — based on the slides shown when LaBella presented the report to trustees — is already on Fredonia’s site.

Sedota said he was “kind of shocked” at the cost of construction for the three options suggested by LaBella. He looked at the cost “the engineers used for the purchase of water from Dunkirk” and noted, “When you purchase water, you will pay for that usage, not the billable amount, which is how you build your budget.”

He said buying water from an outside source at a rate of $3.57 per 1,000 gallons would cost $1.8 million annually “and our cost to make water is considerably less than that.”

Sedota went on, “The bottom line is, using the user rate, you’re talking about a cost exceeding $10, $11 per $1,000. Now, that’s before grants. But I’m not here to convince you about my numbers. What I’m really here to suggest is – I remember, the first conversation I had with (Trustee) Jon (Espersen) a month or two ago, he’s looking for a professional opinion. And I agree with that – but I think you need to get a professional opinion from people who specialize in rate analysis. You have one already on hand, Municipal Solutions. They’re already doing some work for the village.”

Sedota added the firm “would be very helpful in bringing some of these cost numbers together.”


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