Village council votes to pay engineering invoice

WELLSVILLE – Village Council voted on Tuesday night to reverse its decision of two weeks ago, authorizing payment to an engineering firm whose invoices again fell under scrutiny.

The $12,727.50 payment to GGJ Engineering, which had been denied by council at its June 18 meeting due to uncertainty regarding the charges it contained for improvements to Pump Station 1, was unanimously approved. The matter was declared settled to the satisfaction of finance committee members during a meeting held last week.

“Their billing goes in month-and-a-half cycles,” councilman Tony Cataldo said of GGJ. “Even though the project is 95 percent done, we will be receiving more bills from GGJ.”

Related to the pump station, village administrator Thom Edgell announced that the dormant sewer line behind village hall passed a pressure test from Pusateri Excavating last week, confirming that it is suitable for use. From there, it can be hooked into the rest of the sewer system running down to the treatment plant. “We’ll be bidding that out in a couple of weeks,” Cataldo added.

Councilman Don Brown served as president protempore in the absence of Mayor Susan Haugh, who is presently on vacation. Councilwoman Diane Dinch was also absent and excused from the meeting.

In lieu of the mayor’s report, Brown brought attention to flyers circulating through town advertising a “Pepsi-Coke Challenge”. It promises a free case of pop to people who call a toll-free number and participate in a survey. In reality, Brown says, it’s a sales ploy from a company called FWP, Inc.

“It has nothing to do with a survey about pop,” he said. Instead, salespeople are dispatched to homes of residents who call and try to sell them vacuum cleaners or air purifiers. Brown called it a hoax and said he would forward copies of the flyer to Haugh and Police Chief Joe Scarabino.

Cataldo introduced a motion to transfer $25,000 to the demolition fund when money from a property sale to Wellsville Terminals is finalized. Village solicitor Andy Beech confirmed that the purchase agreement has been signed, but hasn’t been closed on yet. According to Cataldo, $25,000 of the $47,000 Wellsville will receive for the sale would go toward the fund to demolish abandoned properties around the village. The measure passed unanimously.

Edgell reported that the new sidewalk has been completed in front of the Nationwide Insurance agency on Third Street, one of the few property owners that signed on last year for participation in the village sidewalk program. Edgell reiterated that the village pays for half of the total costs, the homeowner for the other half, at a rate of $8 per square foot.

Edgell also asked about metal covers for pockets floodwall timber pockets in Wells Avenue. Cataldo replied that he believed council had already green-lit the purchase price of $390 each, estimating that the floodwall fund’s $18,000 would be more than enough to cover the cost. “We said months ago, ‘Fix the problem,'” Cataldo said. Edgell said he would work up the full estimate of installation costs and report back to council.

In other business:

* Council approved a request from animal control Officer Heidi Pecorelli to close a portion of Riverside Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets from 4 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, July 13 for a fundraiser to support the Wellsville Animal Advocacy Group (W.A.A.G.) at the Elks Lodge No. 1040, 723 Riverside Ave. Proceeds will benefit the Wellsville Dog Pound.

* Councilman John Morrow, who chairs the Claims, Rules & Ordinances Committee, announced a meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, to discuss an ordinance for the position of a village building inspector.