Portland addresses water project delays

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OBSERVER Photos by Braden Carmen
Newly elected Town Councilman Gary Travis was officially sworn in at a recent Portland Town Board meeting.

PORTLAND — For months, supplies remained stacked along the side of Route 5 near Van Buren Point, as residents awaited progress on a major water district improvement project in the Town of Portland.

At a recent Town Board meeting, Portland Town Supervisor Rich Lewis explained the delay for the water project in District II, including Van Buren Point and the Greencrest community near Patterson Lane.

Lewis stated that a lack of records of water and sewer lines near Van Buren Point has caused major headaches in the construction process. Because the lines were incorrectly marked or not marked at all, water lines have been hit twice, forcing a shutdown and repair each time. Crews have also been digging to locate gas lines throughout the past few months.

“They are still plugging along,” Lewis said. “They plan to continue throughout the winter, weather permitting.”

The Town Board later authorized Lewis to sign an extension on the Bond Counsel Agreement regarding the Water District II Project.

Also at the recent meeting, Dog Control Officer Gloria McCormick requested the town look further into drafting a law to address livestock roaming free in the town. McCormick stated that one vehicle has already sustained damage as a result of animals roaming free, while Highway Superintendent Ken Becker claimed goats have eaten the flowers off neighboring properties. Without a law in place, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is unable to assist with the matter. Portland Town Attorney Joel Seachrist will explore the drafting of a local law to be presented at a later meeting.

The Town Board also accepted the resignation of Tax Collector Sue Hindman, and appointed Deb Delcamp as Tax Collector in her place, effective Jan. 1, 2024. To conclude the recent meeting, Delcamp was officially sworn in by Town Justice Daniel Thompson, along with newly elected Town Board member Gary Travis and re-elected Town Board member Patti Farrell.

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Portland addresses water project delays

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