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Akron creek project to begin soon

Construction on the Murder Creek stabilization project in Newstead is expected to begin by mid-July.

Carl Klingenschmitt, chairman of the Conservation Advisory Committee, updated the Akron Village and Newstead Town boards on the federally funded project at their joint meeting Monday. He said a final engineering report would be submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in early April, with bids being advertised about May 15.

FEMA awarded an $800,000 "mitigation grant" to the two municipalities to shore up the creek embankment below the Main Street retail district, which was eroded in the snowstorm of October 2006. The embankment and creek border the backyards of Brooklyn Street residences.

Apex Consulting of Lockport has done soil borings, engineering analysis and preliminary design work on the project. The Erie County Soil & Water Conservation District also is assisting.

The plan includes installing a wall at the slope's base comprised of about 900 stacked and pinioned stone blocks. About 1.3 acres of the creek bank will be planted with trees and shrubs with an expanding root base that will help stabilize it, Klingenschmitt said.

He said about 80 trees and stumps, considered to be in poor condition, will be removed and about 15 new trees will be planted.

Klingenschmitt said a meeting is being planned, perhaps by mid-April, to go over detailed drawings with affected residents and businesses.

In other business, former Newstead Councilman Thomas George, consultant on the building of the Akron-Newstead public works facility on Clarence Center Road, said the project likely won't be completed until June, almost six months behind the original completion date.

The main reason for the delay is problems encountered with the erection of the pre-engineered metal building. The two boards, which meet jointly several times a year, discussed a number of other projects, including the status of Akron Airport's planned improvements.

Newstead Supervisor David Cummings said the Town Board still has to make a decision on the State Environmental Quality Review analysis before the Zoning Board of Appeals can act on a variance request from the airport's owners, the Christian Airmen. Petitions, signed by about 270 people opposing the airport's plans to pave a grass runway and add a maintenance hangar, were presented to the Village Board on Monday.


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