Village Water Issues Dominate Board Mtg; Fee to Tap ECWA will be Assessed on Residents Before Actual Tap-in
By Sue DeWitt
Village of Alden officials clashed Thursday evening with resident Robert Overhoff, Sr. over the village water system. Mr. Overhoff led off the “business from the floor” segment of the August 11th meeting by arguing word usage in Mayor Manicki’s rebuttal to his recent letter to the editor in this newspaper. Repeatedly emphasizing that he had called the wells “septic,” he demanded to know why the mayor referred to testing for sulfur. Village water is tested for sulfur, manganese and iron, not for “septic,” which in any case is not present in the water, which meets all quality requirements. Mr. Overhoff insisted that an Erie County official referred to a “septic” smell in two of the village wells in a 15-year-old report which he was not able to produce in support of his argument.
From there, Mr. Overhoff went on to question why, with all the tie-ins available to Erie County Water Authority water, officials continued to pour millions of dollars into the village’s own system. He cited a letter from the county dated 1995 in which, he claimed, the writer said the village could connect to county water for no cost and with no need for a new water storage tank. After 21 years, Mayor Manicki could not recall why the Board at that time decided against that course, or if it had even seen the purported proposal, but noted that it was not germane to the present. Much more recently, in 2007, the Board studied various scenarios for providing water to village customers ranging from upgrading its own system to a full takeover by ECWA. Far more costly than maintaining its own system were the propositions involving the county, owing to the cost of upgrades needed to meet county approval for acquisition. The village then embarked on a $2.6 million water improvement project. See full article in the August 18th issue of the Alden Advertiser.