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Funds sought to relocate S. Transit water main

The town will seek funding from a variety of sources to move a water main that is beneath a travel lane on South Transit Road.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said at last week's Town Board meeting that the project might cost $4 million.

He said the 8-inch water line lies beneath the right northbound lane of South Transit Road -- Route 78 -- instead of being beside the road.

Smith blamed former Supervisor Floyd D. Snyder, who died in 1995, for the problem. "When they widened the road, he refused to move [the water line]," Smith said.
He said if the town ever makes "aesthetic improvements" along South Transit, such as those envisioned in the Gateway Corridor plan spearheaded by Smith, the water line would be in the way. "Every time it broke, we'd have to tear up the road to fix it," Smith said.
He said the line runs all the way from Robinson Road to Tonawanda Creek Road. He said the town won't move it all at once but will do so "in a piecemeal fashion."
Smith said the town doesn't intend to appropriate any money from its surplus, but rather will seek grants from various sources to pay for the work.
Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon also presented the board the first draft of an asset management report that lists the age and life expectancy of every piece of infrastructure in the town.
The report lists 38 sewer pump stations, 45 sewer force mains, 328 gravity sewers and 325 water lines. Klavoon said if for some reason the town had to replace all of that at once, it would cost $154 million.
Smith said he wants to plan annual allocations for replacement of aging systems and that's why he requested the report, which Klavoon worked on for six months. The supervisor said the planning and saving will help avoid large unexpected expenses.
On another topic, Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman told the board that an environmental investigation and cleanup are needed on the site of the former Electruk Battery Co. in the town's industrial park off Upper Mountain Road.
The site was abandoned about 10 years ago, after a $1 million fire in January 1995 caused by fumes igniting after a spill of sulfuric acid.
Seaman said there was a cleanup nine years ago, paid for by the state Superfund.

"But Superfund remediation is not the same as returning the property to productive use," he said.
In order to accomplish that goal, a further investigation and cleanup are needed. Seaman said the state will cover 90 percent of the cost through its brownfields program. He also said the town will ask Niagara County to delete the property from an upcoming tax foreclosure list so the town can take ownership.
Also last week, the board approved the rezoning of a parcel of land south of Town Hall on Old Beattie Road from single-family residential to multiple dwellings. The move allows for construction of the Countryscape subdivision, which is to include townhouses and duplexes.
The board also finalized the annexation of 7.42 acres of the Hall Apple Farm property on Ruhlman Road from the City of Lockport into the town. The municipal boundary had bisected the farm. The city approved the move last month.


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