Orchard Park puts pressure on Erie County to settle snowplowing contract - The Buffalo News
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Orchard Park puts pressure on Erie County to settle snowplowing contract

Orchard Park Highway Superintendent Fred Piasecki is calling on Erie County again to negotiate with towns over the snowplowing of county roads.

And town officials want to increase the pressure on the county by publicizing the roads that are in question.

The contract between the county and towns expired Saturday, and the two sides could not agree on a rate. The towns wanted a three-year contract with a 5 percent increase each year and came down to 4 percent each year. The county first offered 0.5 percent, and has come up to a 1 percent increase.

And with no new contract, towns cannot clear the roads of ice and snow.

“The big issue here is public safety,” Piasecki said at this week’s Orchard Park Town Board meeting.

He called on County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz and Public Works Commissioner John C. Loffredo to break the logjam and negotiate a contract.

“They’re playing a dangerous and risky game,” Piasecki maintained.

Orchard Park usually plows about 15 miles, or about 30 lane-miles, of county roads, and the town plans to put the names of those roads on its website.

“There are roads we cannot plow, it’s illegal for us to go on those roads and plow,” said Piasecki, who is president of the Town Highway Superintendents Association of Erie County. “The county cannot, due to lack of resources, handle it.”

Erie County paid municipalities $3,393 per lane-mile last winter. The county has 1,177 miles of roads, and plowing has been done for decades by a mix of county, town and village crews.

“The list of county roads eventually will be posted on our website,” Councilman Eugene Majchrzak said.

email: bobrien@buffnews.com

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