SHERMAN - The Village of Sherman plans to dialogue with Findley Lake about the possibility of sharing a sewer system, council members learned Wednesday, Feb. 6.
Sherman wastewater plant superintendent Jay Irwin told the Board of Trustees he would be meeting with Findley Lake supervisor Rebecca Brumagin to discuss the possibility of Sherman extending its sewer system to Findley Lake. Sherman would then charge Findley Lake for the service.
If the plan would be approved, Sherman would also be able to receive grants for upgrades to its plant, Irwin said. However, residents of Findley Lake would have to give their approval by a public vote before the project could become a reality, he said.
"It's going to help out Findley Lake," Irwin said. "They can't sell houses without proper sewage, and they can't put a sewer in because they don't have the property."
Sherman Mayor John Patterson said he had spoken with Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards about the idea.
"Greg has done a lot of work in the northern part of the county on streamlining services, where one plant services four or five communities," Patterson said.
In other business, Irwin updated the board on plans to construct a wind turbine in Sherman, through which the village can sell power through net metering.
"We want to go to the Chamber of Commerce to get all of the businesses in Sherman in on it," Irwin said. "The more power we can sell, the better off we will be."
Patterson noted the village needs to sell enough power in order to be able to pay off the cost of the project in 10 years or less.
"We have to get all of our ducks in a row and find out if this is financially feasible," he said. "If we can get it down to an eight or 10 year payback period, I can see this happening."
Irwin agreed, and said he had informed Shaun Lockett, vice president of sales for Aeronautica in Plymouth, which would be supplying the turbine, the project would only move forward if Sherman could achieve a 10-year payback.
The council also agreed to seek a tax cap override as many other small communities have done. Patterson recommended this action, noting last year the village had the override in place, but did not use it because it was able to keep expenses below a 2 percent increase.
"We need to have it," he said. "I don't want to use it, but we need to have the ability just in case."
Patterson said he has already spoken with village staff on ways to become more efficient to keep costs down.
"We need to tighten our belts," he said. "We fix it up, we repair it, we do anything we can do to save us nickels and dimes. It adds up over the years."
Regarding a parking issue in downtown Sherman, Patterson said he felt there was adequate parking, even with the loss of nearly 60 percent of space when the state mandated parallel parking. He recommended, however, the village designate certain spaces for various businesses and tenants.
"I think we are going to be in fine shape," Patterson said. "There's plenty of parking. Maybe we need more directional signs."
Patterson also told the board the village only needs about $17,000 more in grants to finish its project of renovating the Yorker Museum compound.
"We started out with a five-year plan and we have done everything else in one year," he said.
Only the log fort remains in need of care.