The Westfield Town Board is moving ahead with a major water project.
During the board's January meeting, a formal letter was received by the Town of Westfield informing them of a monetary award for the Shorehaven project. Martha Bills, Town Supervisor, read the letter from the USDA Rural Development agency. The agency will award the Town a total of $838,000 for construction of water systems improvements in the Shorehaven allotment of the North Town water district. One-third ($282,000) of the money is a loan with interest set at no more than 1.375% while the remaining monies ($549,000) is a grant. Upon receiving this notice, the town has received permission to go out to bid for the project.
Public comment was welcomed as part of the town board meeting as well. A group of concerned residents on Gale Street reported on what looks like business and building activity of a neighbor and wanted to bring to the town's attention. The town has a 9-month moratorium set on building activity in the commercial manufacturing district of which Gale Street is part and the residents attended the meeting concerned that commercial activity is taking place. The residents also requested a status report on the moratorium. Bills informed the public that the zoning review is in process and a resolution forthcoming.
Another concerned citizen wanted the status of the grant application for the East Lake Road project. Bills informed the public that the grant application is in process and several documents about the community make-up and finances were submitted in December to keep that process in motion. Furthermore, the engineer will be present at the next meeting to discuss the West Lake Road project.
During the meeting Jonathan Mayer, guest consultant, informed the board of a potential clean energy community grant for which the town could apply. The Town would have the potential to receive $50,000 if it implements 4 out of 5 high impact action items such as benchmarking energy consumption and changing street lights to LED lights.
As part of ongoing research related to solar energy, David Spann informed the Board of a report produced by the Lake Erie Management Commission that suggested larger scale solar farms have the potential for runoff that could pose an environmental hardship on Lake Erie's shore. Similar to other communities, the Town of Westfield is researching solar energy farm installations. New York State has issued a model solar energy law and the Town Planning Board is reviewing it along with other reports to determine what is best for Westfield. While the Planning Board does this research, a Moratorium is in place and permits will not be issued for solar farms or solar energy plants.
Standing monthly reports were presented including the Supervisor, Town Clerk, Dog Warden, Fire Department, Historian, Town Court and Westfield Police. Three bids were received for the dog control car and the vehicle will be sold to the high bidder.
This January meeting was considered a re-organizational meeting and 11 annual resolutions were given by Bills. Of note - The Westfield Republican and the OBSERVER in Dunkirk are official newspapers for the town. Annual appointment of Deputy Supervisor David Brown was presented.
The establishment of a 45-mph speed limit on Titus Road was also presented as Resolution Number 11. This change was requested by the Department of Transportation as it is a boundary road. The Town of Sherman and the Town of Chautauqua also must approve.