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Tonawanda Town Board agrees to share road-milling machine

The Town of Tonawanda’s road-milling machine will be busy this summer, helping two adjoining municipalities with some of their road projects.

The Town Board on Monday night approved a shared-services agreement with the City of Tonawanda to allow the Highway Department to mill five city streets.

The town has also provided its milling machine to the Village of Kenmore in the past, and will mill two village streets this season.

“It doesn’t take away from the number of streets that are going to be done in the Town of Tonawanda,” said Councilman Joe Emminger.

“It’s done after the fact. When they get ahead of themselves, they send the milling machine over to the village or the City of Tonawanda.”

The town lends out the milling machine and two employees to operate it when the machine isn’t being used for a town road, Highway Superintendent William E. Swanson explained at an afternoon work session.

The town is compensated for the work, he said.

“It does help us get a little bit more revenue toward doing some more streets,” Swanson said.

Swanson also commented on the condition of town roads after the particularly harsh winter.

Even more streets have come to his attention that are “a total disaster.”

“This year, I have to tell you, we definitely have a major issue with the streets,” he said.

Erie County has plans this summer to improve some of its roads in the town, Swanson said, including Eggert Road, Brighton Road from Fries Road to Eggert, and Kenmore Avenue, where work has already begun.

Also Monday, the Town Board agreed to partner with SUNY Buffalo State’s Research Foundation, Department of Geography and Planning, for a tree inventory.

The town was awarded a $29,766 grant by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to survey the estimated 30,000 trees along town roads, said Town Engineer Jim Jones.

The town is also working with a professional arborist and a geographic information systems firm on the project.

Buffalo State students will perform the data collection, Jones said.

“This helps in management and maintenance of these trees,” he said. “They’re a big asset – a big responsibility for our Highway Department.”