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Village against 800 MHz system

July 19, 2011
WESTFIELD — When it comes to emergency communication systems, 800 MHz is not the way to go.

At least, that is the opinion of the Village of Westfield Board of Trustees.

At a recent trustee meeting, the board unanimously voted to approve a resolution opposing the use and implementation of the “800 MHz” emergency communication system and recommends the Chautauqua County legislature do the same.

“There’s a lot of problems with it,” Village Mayor David Carr said at the meeting.

Some of the problems listed in the resolution include the following: excessive cost; that it is unnecessary for public safety; the Chautauqua County Police Chief’s Association’s recommendation of a narrow band or digital option; and the decision by Erie County and State Police against the 800 MHz system.

According to the Mayor, the Chautauqua County Sheriff wants to make the 800 MHz system a county wide requirement because $2.5 million has already been spent. However, with Erie County, which was to be one of the test counties with Chautauqua, pulling out due to the expense, Chautauqua County would be the only county in the state using the 800 MHz system.

As far as the cost of switching to the 800 MHz system if it is imposed, it would be a least $3,000 for every radio and all equipment would have to be new. The equipment would be needed for all fire trucks, all Department of Public Works vehicles and all school buses; essentially, every Village vehicle on the road. If the county agreed to the narrow band option, Westfield’s existing radios could still be used and any new radios would run around $1,200 each.

In addition, Carr reported as the liaison for the Chautauqua County Mayors and Supervisors that they are all opposed to it. In addition, Carr said the Highway Department Supervisors are opposed to it as well. However, Carr has had no response after sending a copy of the resolution to Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards and members of the Public Safety Committee.

“Silence scares me,” Carr said in a telephone interview after the meeting.

Either way, the Federal Communication Commission has mandated that by 2013, all municipalities will have to begin using a new radio system.


Franklin Street will be closed from the corner of Jefferson Street to the beginning of Crown Hill Stone parking area from Saturday, July 16 to Thursday, July 21. The reason for the closure is local business Better Baked Foods is putting in new equipment.

The closure will be 24 hours each day, and the road will be blocked by removable barriers in order to allow emergency vehicle access if the need arises. Detour signs will be posted.


After finding a collapsed sewer pipe near the old freight station by the corner of Pearl and English Streets, Public Works Supervisor Ed LeBarron reported the need to declare the situation an emergency. When a crew went to repair the pipe initially, it was assumed only a small portion of the pipe was collapsed. However, after 50 feet, the pipe was still collapsed and, in the end, 200 feet of 24-inch sewer main was replaced.

“It wasn’t something we could afford to wait on,” LeBarron said. “It was just all crushed. It was something that had to be done.”

The total cost for the repair came to $8,000 in parts and $10,000 to $11,000 for three days of labor. The money for the repair came from the Emergency Capital Reserve Fund.


There will be a Public Hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 18th at 7 p.m. regarding the sewer rate increase.


There was a Public Hearing for a Site Plan Review for 9-11 East Main Street. For the residents on the third floor, the property owner will be putting in a recess balcony, which will not stick out over the sidewalk.

It was recommended for approval by the Village Planning Board and hearing no opposition, the board unanimously approved it.


Recreation Director Venn Blakely received approval to use the money left over in his budget from last year to purchase an automatic chemical controller for Welch’s Pool.

“I think it’s a really important thing,” Blakely said.

While he did not have responses for all the quotes yet, the ones he had received were under $3,000, which is what the Recreation Department had left over.


The Village board approved authorization to let the Town of Westfield construct a small viewing area on Village property on South Gale Street.

The Town plans on cutting down some trees to create a paved parking area with guardrails so that people can stop and view the waterfalls. There will be no cost to the Village and the agreement by the Village is contingent on the Town being responsible for maintenance.


The Village agreed to give the American Legion $162 for flags placed in local cemeteries. This is a regular occurrence every year and the Village and Town split the total cost of the flags.

Article Photos

Photo by Jenna Loughlin
The Westfield Village Board of Trustees voted recently to approve a resolution against switching its emergency communication system to the 800 MHz system.



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