Supervisor Broughton says town wants to extend service to all water district residents

ARKPORT — Hornellsville Supervisor Dan Broughton said Tuesday the town is committed to making municipal water service available to as many residences as possible.

In a scene that has been duplicated frequently in recent years, Hornellsville officials were questioned Tuesday by a town resident who owns properties in a Hornellsville water/sewer district and is charged annual water and sewer fees but does not have water service available. The resident said he has lived in the same home since 1971.

“Why do I pay a water tax and sewer tax where I live, and there’s not a water line or a sewer line by me?” he asked. “They can charge you for something you’re not getting?”

Broughton responded, “You’re not paying for water, you’re just paying to be in the district.”

Broughton said the districts were originally formed at the request of a majority of town residents.

“By law, when they created the water and sewer districts, a certain percentage of the people had to say yes to it, and if it’s over 50 percent, then everyone has to pay it,” Broughton said. “It’s unfortunate how that has happened to several people, but we’re trying to rectify it. Of course we have to have the funds for it too.”

Earlier this year, the town board approved a resolution that would pay engineers $12,500 to design the water extension project for Maple Court housing area, signaling the official start of the long-awaited project.

Hornellsville gets its water from the City of Hornell and Arkport. Maple Court is already in a Hornellsville water district, but most residents living there are not hooked up to receive municipal water. The extension is expected to bring water to 17 residences in Maple Court.

Broughton said the town wants and plans to do more.

“We are working on all the water areas now,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure we get water to everyone. We’re doing it one at a time, of course, because we can’t do everybody all at once, but anybody that’s in the water and sewer district, we’re going to be providing the water for them — a way to get it, anyways.”

Councilmember Robert Mauro said there will be the ability to extend water lines after the Village of Arkport completes its $3.2 million water system upgrade.

“When I helped the engineers design the new water that’s going in for the village, there is a (connector) spot being left for the town to tie in to feed water all the way down to Jones Road, if the village’s contractor ever finishes the job,” said Mauro, the former Arkport Department of Public Works superintendent and water department operator.

Town officials have less certainty about providing sewer service. Broughton indicted the town would be open to reexamining the sewer districts.

“That’s the other thing we’re trying to find out about,” he said. “Why do we have a sewer district when there’s no way to get sewer to them? So we’re probably going to end up changing that.”

Hornellsville Planning Board

Joe Dick, the chairman of the Hornellsville Planning Board, said the panel is changing the day it meets from the first Tuesday of each month to the first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m. “so if there are any issues that come up, we can address them to the code officer at that time.”

The chairman said one opening remains on the planning board.

“We’ve put together a list of about ten names, and we’re going to start checking them off and see,” he said.

“The biggest thing is to get them here in the winter time” when it can be a challenge to produce a quorum because some members go to Florida, Dick added.

Town Justice Court

The board took no action Tuesday on the justice courts, following the Oct. 1 death of Justice Eric A. Buisch. Buisch died with about 15 months remaining on a four-year term.

Madeleine H. Seaman, the Hornellsville Justice Court clerk, was appointed a temporary justice by the 7th Judicial District administrative judge. Seaman’s ten-day appointment expires Oct. 15. Broughton said no decision has been made on what to do next. The next scheduled election for two town justice positions is in November 2019.