Dunkirk board proposes shift to appointed highway chief - The Buffalo News
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Dunkirk board proposes shift to appointed highway chief

DUNKIRK –The Dunkirk Town Board will ask town voters to consider having an appointed highway superintendent instead of an elected one.

Supervisor Richard Purol provided copies of the legislation to abolish the elected office Tuesday evening and asked board members if they had any comments. Councilman Robert Penharlow said he was looking forward to comments from the public on the issue.

Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro said the matter would have to be placed on the ballot for the November election. A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 6:45 p.m. Aug. 19 in Town Hall.

The position is currently a four-year elected post held by Richard Butts.

If voters approve the proposal, the new position would be filled at the town’s reorganizational meeting in January.

“We don’t take this lightly; it is something we have been looking into,” Purol said.

In other matters, Purol said he learned that more work is needed on the regional water project that officials hope will bring a municipal water supply to some town residents.

Purol said he learned that negotiations are still in progress with the mayors of the City of Dunkirk and Village of Fredonia. He said that many residents have been waiting for progress on the water district so they can have a municipal water supply instead of having to use a private well.

Purol said he hopes that the negotiations start to move more quickly so that the project can go into the design and construction phases.

On another topic, Purol said that there is still a problem with flooding on Willow Road during heavy rains. He said he hopes the town will consider a project to put in a drainage system by the road. Board members said they would like the drainage project completed before fall.

Purol said the town has not received a request from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or U.S. Customs and Border Protection to place a radar tower on the Fredonia Wastewater Treatment Plant property located on Route 5 in the Town of Dunkirk. Purol said that a tower higher than 165 feet may require a special permit. The request also was made to the Fredonia Village Board at its regular meeting Monday.

Board members authorized the town justices to hire a part-time clerk for five hours each week to help process past-due court fines and tickets.

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