by Susan Mikula Campbell
As a councilman, Robert Herman heard a lot of complaints about road conditions from Town of Niagara residents. As the town's new highway superintendent, Herman has already begun the physical work of doing something about it.
He and his workers expected to finish milling and patching the pot holes on Tuscarora Road this week. Since the town doesn't have a crack sealer machine, a company has been hired to do that job, then a top coat will be put down, Herman said.
One of Herman's first projects after stepping down as councilman in March to take the position of highway superintendent was to do an evaluation of every road in the town to get an understanding of what needed to be done and the cost to do it.
His budget for road repair is about $197,000 this summer, which is not nearly enough to repair all the roads that need work, he said, so he divided the town into four sections and hopes to work on select main roads in each area.
"It's going to take some years to put the roads back to where they should be," Herman said, adding that "a maintenance program is just as important as reconstructing the roads."
He noted that Supervisor Steve Richards has promised a significant increase in the amount budgeted for road repair in 2012. Plus, the Town Board approved the hiring of part-time help for this summer.
Town Board members were confident with their appointment of Herman to the vacant highway position. Board member Charles Teixeira made a point of complimenting Herman on his plans and the work under way at Tuscarora at the last Town Board meeting.
Next up after Tuscarora Road is the Apple Court/Dean Brown Drive area, where the subdivision never had a topcoat on the roads. Another bad winter would have caused serious damage, which could have meant the roads would have needed total reconstruction, Herman said.
After that, his crew will move to Grauer Road to bring it to at least an acceptable temporary level, before moving to other roads in the plan, Herman said.