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The cost of a Town of Hamburg sanitary sewer rehabilitation project jumped by $96,127 for sewer districts within the town that are linked to the Village of Blasdell sewage treatment facility, boosting the total tab to $348,830, as town officials increased the scope of the project.

The Town Board Monday night agreed to the change order and gave Supervisor Patrick H. Hoak permission to proceed with the latest set of changes for the project and extend its completion date until April 30. New Hope Pipe Liners Inc. is doing the work.

The change order actually will mean a savings to residents of the sewer districts, making the sewer equipment operate more efficiently, said Councilman D. Mark Cavalcoli.

The additional work was not part of the project's original contract. But repairs are needed at three spots in the sewer system, partly due to structural conditions that prevented proper installation of internal sewer lining materials, town officials said. New Hope Pipe Liners is doing the work, which will be less expensive than subcontracting it out, said Gerard M. Kapsiak, town engineer.

Money from the state's Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act will cover 85 percent of the cost increase, with the affected town sewer districts paying for the remaining 15 percent. The rehabilitation efforts have been under way for four years to help reduce infiltration problems that have frequently forced the closing of Woodlawn Beach. Last year, the beach was closed for 45 of 77 good beach days because of contamination from inadequate sewage systems in the town and Blasdell.

"We hope the beach won't be closed as much this year," Cavalcoli said.

The board also awarded a $17,750 contract to Malcolm Pirnie Inc. for providing an additional five months of monitoring sewage flows and analysis of flows linked to the town's Electric Avenue Pump Station and the Blasdell wastewater treatment plant. The latest work is expected to begin next week.

Sewage flows in that area have been monitored closely for the past four months, and state officials have since recommended that the program continue and that a permanent flow meter be purchased and installed to continuously measure and record the flows.

A half-inch of rainfall or more can spur sewage overflows of up to half of a million gallons into Rush Creek, which empties into Lake Erie at Woodlawn Beach.

"The Town Board's intent is to work with the village and state to reduce the overflow of bacterial water infiltration when it rains, so the beach will rarely close," Cavalcoli said.

In the next 30 days, the town expects Malcolm Pirnie's study to be done on the feasibility of closing the Blasdell wastewater treatment plant and possibly redirecting sewage flows to the county's Southtowns treatment plant. The town would then need to decide whether a sewer district should be formed in the Sagamore-Osborne Heights and Highland Acres area. The Highland Acres neighborhood now has old, leaking septic systems that leach into Rush and Blasdell creeks.

Cavalcoli warned that residents will hear different proposals and differing cost figures in connection with the project. "I think that both communities feel honor-bound to the residents to address the problems," he said.

Blasdell officials, however, have expressed concern about the study, arguing that the town does not have the authority to close the village sewage treatment plant.

The board also vowed to continue working with the state Department of Transportation to help improve the traffic safety of Lake Shore Road in Hamburg, following the formation last week of a task force to address the issue.

Councilwoman Kathleen Courtney Hochul said she was encouraged by the state's interest in considering a Rogers Road traffic signal at Lake Shore Road (Route 5). She also emphasized that DOT Regional Director Robert Russell told her in a meeting last week that the state no longer is considering a 1985 plan that proposed widening Route 5.

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