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Message from the Highway Superintendent
It has been a below average winter, especially as far as snowfall total. To date this has saved a lot of money from the salt budget line. We do have a commitment to receive 70 percent of our salt estimate from the supplier, which is 1540 tons. If the odd winter continues, our salt shed should be busting at the seams and ready for the fall. This coming October, November and December are a part of this same budget, so we will wait and see how we finish up. Nevertheless, at this point the overtime is also way down.
The other good news is that we have been able to do much more roadside ditching. We have completed most of Dunnigan and Sheetram roads to date. We have also been able to continue excavating off-road on town Ditch #3 in the Campbell, Fiegle, and Mapleton, Bear Ridge block. Both roadside and off-road ditching needs to be cleared an average of 3-5 years depending on the area and Mother Nature.
Very soon we will be starting on Bull Creek. It is almost impossible to work when considerably wet, but I will still need to cut a path for our excavator alongside for the D.E.C. to come in and evaluate. We will need to start cutting trees in order to get through with the excavator. After that, we will probably be able to pull out any obstructions depending on what the D.E.C. approves.
To anyone living on Aiken road that owns property along the creek – we will be contacting you or you can call the office to get more details. This area is from the old wooden bridge near Beach Ridge and continues up to the Mapleton Road bridge. We can zigzag, but will need approximately a 20ft. wide area alongside, as close as possible. If you have any questions or concerns regarding roadside and off-road ditches, please call.
With the outrageous cost increase of fuel, so also increases the cost of most roadwork that we do. Blacktop prices are through the roof. I am looking at sealing as many of our better roads with either oil and stone or slurry, which is similar to driveway sealer. This is done after the cracks have been sealed to keep water from penetrating through, which causes most of the damage. This goes along with the “keep your good roads good” policy that I have been following. I will try to pick another project for the remaining funds. We have $185,000 in our budget and $45,655 of state money ( CHIPS ) to do this work. As always, I stretch it as far as I can.
Speaking of CHIPS, I just returned from Albany with the highway superintendents from across the state, many from Niagara County, to continue our fight for State Aid. Our share of this CHIPS money has stayed the same for 4 years. Not only do we lobby to keep our aid, but to also keep future aid, along with some proper increases. We met specifically with Senator George Maziarz and Assemblyman Ray Walter, representing our town as well as Jane Corwin and John Cerettos offices. They all support our efforts and are trying to change things to help more. There is a gas tax of approximately $.65 that was supposed to be dedicated directly to roads. Only 13 percent ends up going to the roads, by the time it passes through other hands. I do thank all our representatives for their support.
We will be pulling our guide stakes that we use for plowing, very soon. Anyone that feels that we have done any damage, please call. We do some basic repairs when the timing is right. Sometimes if we nip a couple of inches of lawn during a snow event, it looks worse than it actually is. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please call me at 625-8033 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org