RIPLEY - The Chautauqua County Department of Health has given the Ripley Water District area good marks for its water and sewer system, town board members were informed at a regular meeting Thursday, March 8.
"Things are looking pretty good," said Supervisor Douglas Bowen, as he shared a letter from Chautauqua County Engineer Paul S. Snyder, P.E, who performed a sanitary survey of the water district's system in November with Chief Water Operator Bruce Utegg and Water and Sewer Superintendent Darwin Rowe.
"The Ripley Water District continues to be operated in a very conscientious manner and provides the consumer with a safe and reliable source of drinking water," the letter stated.
The letter stated the inspection had evaluated the water source, the treatment system, storage tank, distribution system, pumps and controls, monitoring and reporting, management and operations and operator compliance.
The letter also noted several "deficiencies" that were "vitally important to be addressed to ensure that this track record continues." Bowen said these issues mainly involve the aging water and sewer infrastructure and is a problem many communities throughout the county share.
The letter cited the need for a maintenance and emergency action plan for the Alford Reservoir dam, as well as concerns about the 113 year-old-brick water diversion tunnel from Belson Creek to the reservoir. The Belson Creek dam is also in need of repair or replacement.
In other business, the town board approved bids to purchase a used tractor/mower and a used dump truck, as well as discussed seeking bids for a backhoe and a street-sweeper brush.
The board approved a motion to purchase a New Holland tractor/mower from John Wiggers and Son Inc., of Clymer, who placed the low bid of $39,500 after a trade-in of $10,000 for the town's current tractor/mower. The town received five bids for the mower ranging from $39,500 to $46,700 after trade-in.
Highway Supervisor Michael Knight said the Wiggers bid had the additional benefit of coming in a bit over the specifications put forth by the town. The tractor has a 24-speed transmission instead of the specified 12 speeds, bigger tires and the capability to use a brush mower as well. Knight noted that the old tractor/mower had been purchased in 1985 for a cost of $13,500, and Wiggers was offering a $10,000 trade.
"So after 27 years of service, that mower cost us $3,500," he said.
Board members also approved the purchase of dump truck from Cramer Motors in North East, Pa. Bowen recommended the town accept Cramer's bid for a four-wheel drive truck, plus an 8-foot Western plow package, as well as an offer from Ripley Resident Robert Bentley to purchase the town's old truck for $3,500. The final cost to the town will be $32,249, and will come from a recent sale of standing timber. Cramer was the only bid received for the truck.
The board also discussed seeking bids for a backhoe for the water/sewer department. The current backhoe, purchased in 1989, has front-end problems, Bowen said, and would require at least $7,000 to fix.
"I hate to put that money into a backhoe that old," he said.
The board also agreed to let highway supervisor Knight look into prices for a street-sweeper brush. Knight told the board a new brush would cost about $7,000, which could be partially funded by about $3,500 in scrap metal that the highway department has collected.
"So we're about halfway there," he said. "We have money just lying around out here and we might as well put it to use."