LOCKPORT – The Town Board is planning a decade-long program of water and sewer repairs, but some residents called Wednesday for faster action on flooding woes in their areas.
Residents of Eastwood, Forest Hill and Willow Wood drives called for remedies for flooded yards and basements, as the board voted to schedule a Feb. 5 public hearing on a $16.9 million list of water and sewer improvements throughout the town.
The board did act on a $79,500 sewer rehabilitation package for the Lincoln Village and Carlisle Gardens subdivisions, including an upgraded sewer lift station that would help Eastwood Drive residents in Lincoln Village.
Theresa Pasquale, one of four residents who went to Town Hall for the meeting, said their basements have flooded four times in the past year and a half.
“I’m still cleaning my cellar from the (Dec. 22) ice storm,” said Cynthia Davis, brandishing photos of three feet of dirty water caused by a sewer backup. She said she was looking forward with dread to this weekend’s forecast high temperatures and rapid snowmelt.
Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the basement drains in Lincoln Village are probably connected to sanitary sewers, which was allowable in the 1950s when the subdivision was built, but wouldn’t be allowed now.
Smith said, “I don’t think it’s acceptable that your basements flooded.” He said town officials are willing to visit in person to look into temporary fixes while the work is prepared on the lift station.
Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon said the redesign of the lift station has been authorized, with bidding expected in the spring and construction this summer.
John Hobel and Thomas Bloomer, of Forest Hill Drive, and Scott Gellerson, of Willow Wood Drive, said they were affected by recent flooding in the Tonawanda Creek watershed, but flooded yards and basements are nothing new in their neighborhood, either.
Smith said Klavoon is preparing a response plan. “We think we have a fairly good handle on what happened out there,” the supervisor said.
The Feb. 5 hearing, expected to be followed by a vote that night, would authorize $14.1 million in water line work and $2.8 million in sewer line projects, to be paid for through bond issues.
“In order to make this work, we need to raise about $350,000 a year in additional revenue,” Klavoon said.
The town intends to raise water rates about $30 per year for homes everywhere except in Lincoln Village and Carlisle Gardens, but sewer rates are to be cut by an equivalent amount.
Klavoon’s schedule spread the water projects over the next nine years, but Smith said he believes the time frame will be speeded up.