Town of Cheektowaga officials approved a shared services agreement with the City of Lackawanna Tuesday night that allowed the cash-strapped city to borrow snow removal equipment after many of its plows broke down.
The resolution sparked a flurry of objections from Council Member Gerald Kaminski – who asked why Cheektowaga taxpayers were paying to plow Lackawanna's streets.
"What is a Cheektowaga plow doing on Grant Boulevard in Lackawanna?" Kaminski asked Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski during a work session that preceded the board's regular meeting. "Did we give them a driver, too?"
The snowplow, equipped with a front plow, side plow and salters, was borrowed in mid-December under emergency conditions, said Mark Wegner, superintendent of highways for Cheektowaga.
Wegner said Lackawanna workers picked the plow up and used their own driver.
"New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz have requested municipalities to share services under such conditions," Benczkowski said.
"We decided it was in our best interest," Benczkowski said. "We did the right thing."
Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski said three of the city's seven plows were down due to the heavy snowfall.
The plows lent to Lackawanna by Cheektowaga and Erie County during the weekend of Dec. 15 worked "like a hot knife going through butter," Szymanski said.
County plows will continue to be used to service Lackawanna's main arterials, including Ridge and Abbott roads.
A Cheektowaga official, however, said he planned to contact Lackawanna about the plow's return.
"I'll call tomorrow and get it back," Wegner told Kaminski.
In other action, Cheektowaga town officials approved the appointment of six police officers during the reorganization meeting.
Appointed were Sydney E. Dedline of Buffalo, Robert D. Phelps of Depew, Adam J. Pijanowski of Depew, Sidney P. Barrick of West Seneca, Arthur J. Dietz of Cheektowaga and Michael S. Cavanagh of Cheektowaga.
"The six candidates were selected from a pool of 70," said Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack.
The appointments become effective Jan. 18, and are subject to verification of compliance with the residency law of the Town of Cheektowaga.