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Board seeks to relocate water mains

The Town Board is readying plans to relocate water mains beneath South Transit Road.

The project, estimated last year to cost $3.5 million, is part of the Transit North corridor makeover plan.

The board voted last week to award an $89,000 contract to Apex Consulting of Lockport to survey the work area and complete an engineering design for the project.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith said that when South Transit was widened to four lanes decades ago, the town water lines, which had been alongside the two-lane road, weren't moved. They are now beneath the northbound traffic lanes.

"Every time there's a break [in the pipes] we have to make a cut in the road," Smith said.

The plan is to move the water mains off the east shoulder of the highway and plant grass over them instead of having drainage ditches, as is currently the case. The result, Smith said, would be a better-looking strip of land that would bolster the Transit North makeover.

The town has adopted historic architectural standards for future development along the road, which is Route 78. It also has placed a design review process in the hands of the Planning Board for each project.

On another topic, Smith assured the audience at the meeting that the town intends to take no action in support of a snowmobile club's request to the state Canal Corp. for a snowmobiling trail along the Erie Canal towpath from Day Road to Medina.

Since the state requires all municipalities along the route to approve it, that means "the issue is over," Smith said.

Seven speakers who live near the canal spoke at the meeting, all opposing the snowmobilers' suggestion.

Several complained that snowmobilers are already using the towpath, and private property in the area, illegally.

Marion Herman told of snowmobilers "doing doughnuts" on her front lawn. Dan Kramer said, "I just put a $7,000 driveway in, and they're tearing it up."

Dick Williams of Canal Road said, "After midnight, it seems like the speed goes up after they've been to the bars."

"You can't even see what color the sleds are, they're going so fast," said another local resident, George Walker.

Smith said, "Now that we know there's an issue, we'll try to get it taken care of."

The board also voted to buy two new Ford pickup trucks for the Highway Department, for a total of more than $43,000.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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