SHERMAN - Sherman Mayor John Patterson told the Village Council recently that he had a telephone conversation with J.C. Smith of the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation, which assists small and rural communities in development of wastewater treatment and water supply projects. Sherman has been seeking grant monies to update its sewer treatment plant.
Patterson said that Smith told him the fact that the village did not have a lot of money but was in the black as far as plant operations gave Sherman a good chance to be approved. "He sounded extremely positive that we were in a good position to get the grants we need to update the plant."
Regarding another project, Sherman Council authorized Patterson and Village Clerk Ann Gilbert to continue the grant process to purchase a new loader and snow removal truck. A new loader can be purchased through the state for $133,000, Patterson said.
Sherman Superintendent of Streets and Water Doug Crane told the council that the current loader has several mechanical issues including oil leaking into the antifreeze and a loss of fluid in the brakes. The loader's engine was rebuilt two years ago to keep it running.
The village is currently using a loader borrowed from the county through the Shared Services Program. Although the village's loader is operational, they are not using it because its trade-in value is much greater if it is running, Patterson said.
"We may be able to get $15,000 to $18,000 for a running loader. We're going to let it rest until we find out what's coming down the road for us," Patterson said. "That loader has got to be replaced. The best scenario would be to get a $20,000 grand and a zero percent loan."
The village will also be seeking a grant to help pay for a new plow truck. The current plow, now in its eighth season, has electrical issues and extreme metal fatigue in the plow, Crane said.
A new plow could be purchased through the state for $53,000.
Patterson told the council he has also talked with USDA executive Tom Becker about a possible grant to help improve the alleyway behind Main Street businesses on the southwest side of town. The area become so muddy in spring that delivery trucks often get stuck, he said.
A repair project would include excavating the area down to the hardpan, removing all of the muck, sand and clay, installing drains to carry water runoff to the creek, and building up the area will millings and paving, Patterson said.
Currently, the area provides about 25 parking spaces, Patterson said. The project would increase that number greatly. "I think we could park 60 cars back there. For the first time, we will have a municipal parking lot."
Patterson said he was also approached by Randy Sweeney, executive director of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, regarding improvement needs in the village. Possible projects include flowering trees along Main Street, a digital weather station display, a veterans' memorial and a new fence around the Yorker museum.
In other business, the council passed a resolution to set a public hearing regarding the ability to override the state 2-percent tax cap. "It's not a carte blanche to spend whatever we want. It's just in case we need it," Patterson said.
Patterson told the council that the Sherman Day committee has named Bonnie Meabon to the grand marshal for the parade in August. The council enthusiastically endorsed this choice, citing examples of how Meabon has consistently picked up trash around the village and town for years. "I don't think there's anyone who does more for cleaning up the streets here," Patterson said.
The Shave the Mayor fundraising project has accumulated more than $1,500 so far, Patterson said. T-shirts are being considered to help increase exposure for the project.
A public hearing concerning changes to the water/sewer manual was set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5.