FREDONIA, NY (WNY News Now) – Leaders in Fredonia are hoping to put a stop to the infrastructure problems which have been plaguing the community in recent years.
The Village of Fredonia’s board of trustees held a special meeting Thursday evening to discuss potential solutions to the ongoing deterioration of the community’s water system.
Concern in recent years has surrounded the issue of losing money in the process of selling water to customers, which Trustee Jon Espersen argues is due in large part to the high cost of water production.
“This probably doesn’t answer why we’re going to lose three-quarters of a million to a million dollars this year in water,” Espersen explained. “I think that’s attributed to the fact that it costs $6.68 to produce a thousand gallons, and we’re charging $4.80 or something for a thousand gallons. That’s why we’re losing that kind of money.”
At the meeting, Espersen urged the village to buy water directly from the City of Dunkirk, which he claims would drastically reduce costs, an idea which several members of the board pushed back on.
“I’m really not willing to entertain the idea of buying it from someplace else after we just spent those tens of millions of dollars into the water filtration plant,” Trustee James Lynden argued. “Are you going to waste everybody’s money by turning that off?”
The issue of incomplete metering, along with leaking water mains, was pointed to as the culprit by Mayor Doug Essek, who argued that repairing the network should be the immediate priority.
“Until we get the situation of our water loss under control, like forty to fifty percent water loss, I would never entertain the idea of buying water that you pay every single ounce for from somebody else when we have these losses,” Essek said. “ Let’s figure out our losses first, of where we’re losing water, do that, and then work on these other options.”
Water problems are not a new phenomenon in Fredonia. As recently as September of 2020, the village was without clean water for nearly a month due to turbidity issues from the treatment plant.
Now, officials are working with a local engineering firm in the hopes of resolving the problems the aging water system is facing.