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11-MONTH-EFFORT PAYS OFF IN 4-WAY STOP SIGN

It took Patricia Switzer 11 months of nagging, candid photography, amateur map-making and mobilizing a neighborhood petition drive.

Monday night her efforts paid off when the West Seneca Town Board authorized a four-way stop at the intersection of Aurora and Gordon avenues.

Her stop-sign was in an amendment to the town's traffic ordinance that included "no parking" on the West side of narrow Schaeffer Road from Berg Road to the end of the street and ratification of an already installed four-way stop at Collins Avenue and and Arcade Street.

"That is Highway Superintendent Patrick Finnegan's street," she said, referring to the four-way stop. "Why can he put in a four-way stop as an 'emergency,' and it takes me all sorts of traffic counts, paper work and denials by the traffic safety panel, which hasn't even met in months?"

Told that the highway superintendent has the authority to install traffic signs when he deems them an emergency, she was not mollified. Finnegan said he had personally witnessed some near collisions at that intersection, which is near Winchester Elementary School, and was urged to do something about it.

Finnegan said he polled the traffic safety panel last spring, and its members agreed to install the stop sign in May. The panel formalized the action in July, and the board Monday night ratified the work already done.

The board also heard from Mary Penders of 63 Parkside Drive who was concerned that a hearing two weeks ago before the board agreed to buy 43 acres at 3739 Seneca St. for soccer fields never mentioned the fact that an access road and parking for 400 cars were to be provided.

"Our only access will be off Seneca Street," said Councilman Christopher P. Osmanski, "and we'd likely keep the parking on the Seneca street side of the property as well. You understand we had to act quickly to apply for funds under the (federal) Water Act, and we have not gotten funds for development yet, just land purchase."

Osmanski said that trees and shrubs would protect Parkside residents' backyards.

Supervisor Paul T. Clark said he had spoken with other residents and that "whatever we do will be in close cooperation with the neighbors."

In other matters the board:

Approved purchasing 19.2 acres of vacant land formerly called Island Park from Shirley Kasprzyk for $70,000 and 10 adjoining acres from Galley Florists for $10,000 for use as parkland, provided the town's grant application is approved within six months.

Tabled a change order that doubled the cost of an engineering study for the Centennial Park wading pool, pending an explanation from the town's consultant.

Agreed to pay $208,912 to Telfair Construction for a new storage facility, $7,000 over the bid because of an expansion of the original plans; and $66,090 to John L. Peterson construction for plumbing and heating for the new building.

Agreed to pay MPI Contracting $83,753 for finishing the Gervan Drive-Park Lane water main, a job that came in $11,000 under bid.

Awarded a contract for the Fisher Road sanitary sewers extension to Visone Construction, which submitted a bid of $26,020, the lowest of six bids. That is well below the $40,000 estimated cost, meaning that residents, some of whom have been concerned about the cost, will pay about 25 percent less for their share of the line.

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