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As town engineer retires, Hamburg to chart department’s future

Twenty-five years ago, when Hamburg had 30 town water districts and 30 sewer districts, there was plenty of work to keep the Engineering Department’s eight employees busy.

Today, the water districts have been taken over by the Erie County Water Authority, and the county runs all but one of the sewer districts.

And after Town Engineer Gerard M. Kapsiak, 62, retires Wednesday after 25 years with the town, there will be three employees in the department.

Now, the town will take the opportunity to review the operation of the Engineering Department. Town Supervisor Steven J. Walters said Wendel, an architecture, engineering and planning firm, is providing interim engineering services, and the Town Board will decide what to do going forward. The town already contracts with Wendel to run its Planning Department.

Not everything that Kapsiak has worked on has been underground. The department oversaw the design of the expansion of the town golf course from nine to 18 holes in the mid-1990s, as well as the design and installation of the clock tower on Route 5 near Hoak’s Restaurant three years ago. The town also extended water to every residential property in town around 1990, Kapsiak said.

Kapsiak also has been working on the establishment of quiet zones at railroad crossings, and the department reviews site plans for commercial projects and subdivisions.