Village DPW readies for winter and water conversion

   The Caledonia Village Board met Tuesday, December 2 to complete a short business agenda. The DPW, headed by Chris Buckley, is reading for winter by weatherizing the three parks, marking the location of fire hydrants, storing road salt and reading the trucks and plows for the winter weather ahead. Buckley said the DPW had some salt stores left over from last winter and he has ordered another 170 ton for the upcoming season. Two back-to-back snow storms can quickly deplete the salt stores, Buckley explained. Mayor Joe Caluorie thanked Debbie Davis and Karen Polo, village residents who created all of the holiday greens and decorations throughout the business district for Hometown Holidays.

   The village continues to get ready for the conversion from local water to water being purchased and supplied by the Monroe County Water Authority. The state and county health departments are reviewing the plan for the conversion and as soon as it approved, the village will move ahead with the change over. The agreement will be between the MCWA, the Livingston County Sewer and Water Authority and the Village of Caledonia. The LCSWA will purchase the water from MCWA and sell it without mark up to the Village of Caledonia. Rates will increase above what customers pay now although the mayor says the exact rate has not yet been agreed upon.

   The board and Buckley discussed the confusion and concern from some people in the community as a result of a public notice issued last month by the Village of Caledonia that said the village water system was out of compliance with state regulations. County and state environmental health departments mandated the village to issue the public notice, because the water conversion project was not completed by May 2008, the compliance date set by the regulatory health agencies. Mayor Caluorie says the public notice alarmed some people because they thought it meant the water they are currently consuming is inadequate or unsafe. The village eased public concern by explaining that the public notice is in reference to the water conversion project timeline, not water quality or safety.

   "The village is technically out of compliance until the water conversion project with Monroe County Water Authority is complete," Caluorie explained. "As soon as we receive approval for the water conversion plan from the state and county health departments, which we submitted last summer, it will be just a couple of days before the project is complete. In the meantime there is no concern with the safety of the present water supply."

   The village attorney is working out the final verbage of the agreement between the village, MCWA and LCSWA.

   In other board matters, the village is working with a broker to secure comparable health insurance coverage for employees. Health insurance rates are expected to rise next year an estimated nine to 22 percent however the village is in talks with a brokerage firm that works with other towns and villages facing similar increases to secure comparable coverage for much less money. A representative from Bond Financial is meeting this week with village employees to discuss the contract. The village board next meets on January 6, 2009.