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Company sues town over snow contract; Removal firm seeks $237,440 from Cheektowaga

The lake-effect snowstorm that closed the Thruway and clogged Cheektowaga's streets early last December might cost the town almost a quarter-million dollars more -- over snow a company did not remove.

The town paid $237,440 for emergency snow removal to a company that did not have a contract for that service, according to a breach-of-contract lawsuit that was filed this week in State Supreme Court.

Now, the company that did hold the emergency snow-removal contract -- Custom Topsoil of Cheektowaga -- wants to be paid what the other company received for removing snow.

When the storm hit Dec. 2, Custom Topsoil objected when the town sought another company to help handle the emergency snow removal, according to Custom Topsoil's lawsuit.

Brian M. Krause, Cheektowaga's finance director, said the only other firm the town paid for emergency snow removal from that storm was Nichols, Long and Moore of Lancaster.

Town officials have previously said that they hired the additional company for the work because they felt more help was needed because of the scope of the emergency.

After its objection, Custom Topsoil received a portion of the emergency snow-removal work, but the town also continued with the other company, the lawsuit alleges.

As a result, Custom Topsoil said it's entitled to $237,440 -- the amount the town paid to the other company -- plus interest.

The town breached its contract with Custom Topsoil because it paid the other company, which was not the responsible low-bidder for emergency snow removal and did not win the contract to do that work last winter, the company said in the lawsuit.

Custom Topsoil referred questions to its lawyer, who did not return a call seeking more information.

Neither Highway Superintendent Mark Wegner nor Supervisor Mary F. Holtz could be reached to comment Thursday.

News Staff Reporter Aaron Besecker contributed to this report.