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Lockport seeks $1.7 million from Albany to fill South Transit Road ditches

LOCKPORT – The drainage ditches along South Transit Road in the Town of Lockport may be filled in at state expense.

The Town Board decided Monday to apply for a $1.7 million state grant that Economic Development Director Marc R. Smith suggested could be pursued to level all ditches on the Lockport, or east, side of Route 78 between Robinson and Tonawanda Creek roads. It’s believed to be the most heavily traveled stretch of highway in eastern Niagara County.

Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said the money is available through the State Senate, and would cover the fill, the underground drain pipes and possibly sidewalks along that two-mile portion of the road.

The west side of the road is in Pendleton and would not be part of the proposed work.

Crocker said the work would produce smoother entrances for drivers entering any of the many business driveways along the road. Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon said the drain pipes would range from 12 to 42 inches in diameter, depending on the load of runoff.

On another topic Monday, Crocker said all town residents will have a wheeled recycling tote delivered to them this fall, whether they want it or not.

The town is switching to a biweekly recycling format as of Jan. 1, but Crocker said about 70 residents asserted that they couldn’t handle or didn’t want the tote, and wanted to stick with the current 18-gallon bin, which is emptied weekly.

Crocker said Waste Management, the town’s garbage and recycling contractor, is buying new recycling trucks with a hydraulic arm to raise and lower the totes, manned by a single driver.

“Waste Management does not want to get out of the truck,” Crocker said. That means no opportunity to manually pick up bins.

“We’re offering up a recycling plan. Whether people want to participate is up to them,” Crocker said. “We have to look at the bigger picture.”

He said he checked with the Town of Hamburg, which delivered totes to everyone, including residents who said they didn’t want them. “They didn’t get any complaints after a month and a half,” Crocker said.

The town also is making plans to gradually replace the town’s 6,100 water meters, starting next year. Crocker told the town that the existing meters are aging and becoming inaccurate. The new meters, with batteries enabling them to last up to 20 years, cost $260 each.

Klavoon said Wendel, the town’s engineering firm, will research the oldest meters and the largest users so decisions can be made on where to start the replacement work.

Also Monday, Councilman Paul W. Siejak said that Lincoln Avenue Extension from Akron Road to the Royalton town border will be milled and repaved, starting Wednesday. Work on the $120,000 project is targeted for completion by the end of next week.

“That’s a heavily traveled area. This is likely to cause some congestion,” Siejak warned.


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