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Eateries In Fredonia Affected By Water Crisis

FREDONIA — Gina Kron, who owns a number of Tim Hortons locations in northern Chautauqua County, said the last two weeks have been a challenge at village of Fredonia locations.

“Our only saving grace is that we have the Dunkirk store so we can carry ice and water from there,” she said this week. “We’re also stuck having to buy pop, water and ice, which is an extra cost we don’t need.”

Kron is one of a number of area restaurants — tied to the Fredonia water system — that have indicated frustrations with the current boil-water situation. The village has been under the emergency since Sept. 10 when a filter problem was reported. Last week, the Chautauqua County Health Department said an algal bloom has caused high turbidity levels.

Much to Kron’s dismay is the boil-water order is expected to last through the weekend. She was, however, pleased to see the advocacy by the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Local Economic Development group about connecting to the Dunkirk water system.

“This has been a great hardship on us, a major inconvenience,” Kron said. “We are already dealing with limited staff and COVID. To add this was a bit much.”

At the Faculty Student Association at the State University of New York at Fredonia, Darin Schulz said the campus sites also are facing challenges, but “managing.”

“The boil water mandate has severely limited our menu especially at our coffee locations,” the executive director said. We can’t do drinks with ice. We can only do what we can do.”

Downtown restaurants also admitted to the obstacles. “Neither COVID-19 or the boil-water order is affecting our business,” said Dennis Colt Jr. of Domus Fare on Main Street. “The boil water has made some things difficult, but we’re managing just fine. We sell bottled pop and we’ve had to pick up bottled water, but otherwise it’s fine.”

Colt also said they have their ice shipped in as well so little has been affected for them.

Nick Keefe, owner at TaQo on Main Street echoed much of the same. “We’re all take out so all of our drinks are bottled, it really hasn’t been a large issue,” Keefe said.

Lisa Mancuso, owner at DeJohn’s Spaghetti House, was unfazed as she has been through the drill before. “We boil water for everything in the kitchen anyways,” she said. “The only thing extra I do is boil some extra water for drinking. … This happens all the time so we’re used to it.”

In the meantime, progress is being reported on the treatment plant, village Mayor Doug Essek said.

“Two filter beds have been replaced and are in service, a third bed is in process of being replaced, and a fourth will be immediately after,” he said in a news release Thursday. “Turbidity levels continue to drop and once we are able to get our filter beds and clear well down to Chautauqua County Department of Health recommendations, the boil water order can be lifted.”

Essek thanked all users for their understanding. “We continue to thank you for your patience, understanding, and support during this emergency,” he said.

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