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Emergency declared to help cleanup

The Town Board voted Tuesday to declare the Nov. 16 flooding along the banks of Cayuga Creek an emergency, which should allow outside crews to get into Cayuga Creek to do some much-needed cleaning as soon as possible.

Following the 5-0 vote in Town Hall, Supervisor Steven C. Richards said that with such a declaration, the town does not need to solicit bids to get outside crews to clear debris from the creek. "We'll be able to take real quick action," he said.

Town Engineer Robert P. Lannon Jr. will be able to decide if an excavator will be needed to clean out the creek, Richards said. Only two residents attended the session.

On Jan. 11, Lannon showed Town Board members pictures of how town crews cleaned debris from Cayuga Creek to alleviate some of the flooding problems back in November. The pictures also showed how overflowed the creek was before town crews completed the work.

Richards said at the time that after Police Chief H. James Suitor arranged for a helicopter to come in from the State Police barracks in Batavia, with Suitor taking photos of the flooding along the creek banks here, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told Lannon that it was permissible to have town representatives clear debris from the creek.

In 1996, the creek overflowed, and residents from an adjoining mobile home community were displaced. There was a similar problem in November 2006, but not with such disastrous results.

Lannon said he found a small stone walkway built across the creek, which crews removed, lowering the water in the creek by 2 or 3 feet.

In another matter, the board voted, 5-0, to move its February meeting to 7 p.m. Feb. 13 from Feb. 20. The board also will hold only one work session next month, at 7 p.m. Feb. 8.

Three of the councilmen will be out of town attending the Association of Towns of the State of New York's 2007 Annual Meeting and Training School in New York City.

Councilmen Robert A. Clark, Charles Teixeira and Marc M. Carpenter will be the town's representatives at the meeting.

e-mail: pkowalik@buffnews.com

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