by Larry Austin
The Town of Grand Island has received a grant of more than $200,000 to improve sidewalks in the Ransom Road neighborhood near Grand Island High School and Veronica Connor Middle School.
The Grand Island Town Board discussed the town's notification from the state of approval for a grant that would fund sidewalk and safety improvements as part of the Safe Routes to School Program.
In a letter to Town Engineer John Whitney dated Jan. 3, Joan McDonald, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation, said the town's request for a federally-funded Safe Routes to School Program Infrastructure grant has been approved in the amount of $205,004.
McDonald said the next steps would include scheduling a project kickoff meeting to assist the town in developing a project management plan, and complying with federal and state requirements.
Grand Island Councilman Ray Billica called the money a "fully-funded grant," or one that does not require any expenditure from the town.
"It will go toward sidewalk improvements, and a crosswalk and traffic monitor for over by the high school/middle school complex," Billica said.
Council members Chris Aronica, Richard Crawford and Gary Roesch praised Billica and the school for making the grant a reality. Town Supervisor Mary Cooke noted the work of both Billica and the school administration's Karen Cuddy-Miller.
"I'd like to thank Ray because he did a lot of work on that getting that together," Aronica said.
Cooke said the town will draw up plans for the work (pictured). The project involves 4,156 feet of additional sidewalk, some as far to the southwest as Independence and Cardinal lanes, she said.
"Those people are going to be mighty happy to find out that they don't have to pay for the sidewalk, that a grant is going to do it," Cooke said. Maintenance will be shared by the school, town and property owners. Work includes (pictured in red):
•Ransom Road, north side, extending a sidewalk around the corner on International Lane (2,888 linear feet)
•Ransom Road, south side, installing a new sidewalk from school to Bishops Gate Road (127 linear feet)
•Regency Drive, north and south sides, installing new sidewalks to connect with the west side of Stony Point Road and north side of Ransom Road (335 linear feet)
•Cardinal Lane, north side, extending a sidewalk to connect to the east side of Stony Point Road sidewalk (240 linear feet)
•International Lane, west side, extend a sidewalk to one existing on Brandywine Lane and part of Continental Lane (566 linear feet)
Town receives $9K for e-waste recycling
•The town notes that in its first year of electronic waste recycling, 113,195 pounds of waste has been recycled. Total revenue for 2012 was $9,734.77, at 8.6 cents per pound.
Cooke noted that the state mandated e-waste recycling last January.
"Our trash haulers are no longer allowed to pick up electronic waste," Cooke said. She thanked Highway Superintendent J.T. Tomkins and his crew "because they're the people who deal with this on a day-to-day basis" as residents bring their e-waste over to the highway garage at 1820 Whitehaven Road.
The town is printing neon stickers for Allied Waste truck personnel who provide trash hauling for the town. Personnel will tag electronic waste left curbside with instructions on how to deliver the waste to the town's highway garage.
In other town business:
In a letter to the town, Henry Kammerer, fundraising chairman of the Neighbors Foundation of Grand Island, thanked the Grand Island town employees for a donation of $193 to the holiday Share Your Happiness Fund Drive at Christmastime.
"Your generosity, combined with that of many other individuals and organizations, made it possible for the Neighbors Foundation to help 66 of your Grand Island neighbor families who are having temporary financial difficulty this recent holiday season," Kammerer wrote.
The board reappointed Judy Tafelski as town assessor to a six-year term, from Oct. 1, 2013, to Sept. 30, 2019.
The board approved a assessment clerk part time position for the Town of Grand Island Inventory of Civil Service Titles, pending notification from Erie County.
On the recommendation of Tomkins, the board accepted two bids for new equipment. The board accepted a bid of $35,092.25 with a $6,000 trade-in from Niagara Frontier for a new 12-inch capacity brush chipper; and a bid of $24,182 from Viking Cives for a 10-inch all-season dump box.
The board voted to extend contracts for water supply facilities and sanitary sewer facilities with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Niagara Region for Beaver Island State Park. The water contract calls for a charge rate of $3.95 per 1,000 gallons, effective April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. The town will charge the state $8.98 per 1,000 gallons of water used, Cooke said, for the sewage through March 31, 2014.
The board scheduled three public hearings for 8 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.
One hearing will receive public input regarding a bond resolution for the consolidated sewer district, and another for a bond resolution for the Park Place/Whitehaven Farms sewer improvement area.
A third hearing will receive public input on the rezoning of several parcels in Ferry Village: a portion of the Buffalo Launch Club, 503 East River Road; a portion of Anchor Marine, 1501 Ferry Road; and a vacant lot at the corner of East River and Ferry roads. The parcels are zoned R-2A.
Cooke said "This was situation that came up when we were looking at zoning maps. R-2A requires a waterfront component, which no longer exists because when this map was done there was a canal proposed for that area and it was going to make these lots waterfront. That is no longer going to happen."
Both the property owners and the town's Planning Board support the move, with the Planning Board calling the rezoning "a smart idea," Cooke said.
•The board approved a request from Parks and Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro to purchase one 2013 pickup truck with a lift (not to exceed the budgeted amount of $22,000, and a 2013 off-road utility vehicle from state contract (not to exceed $6,800). The new purchases will replace 20-year-old vehicles.