County and towns provide equipment, manpower in WNY snowbelt
With intense early winter storms buffeting the Erie County south towns, Niagara County government and the highway departments of five towns are providing substantial support for cleanup efforts, the chairman of the Niagara County Legislature's Public Works Committee revealed Tuesday.
"This county government, and our partners in the towns of Cambria, Lewiston, Lockport, Pendleton and Royalton, are keenly aware of the regional impact of a storm like this," Legislator John Syracuse said. "This is a time to pull together and help our neighbors."
The five towns provided five front-end loaders and operators who were dispatched to Erie County, while Niagara County provided flatbed trucks that transported the heavy equipment to the affected areas Tuesday afternoon to assist Erie County dig out.
Syracuse praised the highway superintendents of the five towns who joined Niagara County in responding, noting he has worked closely with town highway departments since becoming chairman of the public works committee to study ways the communities can share services.
"Every community has a responsibility to its taxpayers, first off, to control costs, but emergencies like the south towns snow storm remind us that we need to have contingencies to deal with the rapid onset of problem weather," Syracuse said. "Our response here is part of that commitment, and it is a shared commitment among Western New York's communities."
Syracuse said he anticipates the county and towns will be reimbursed for the labor, equipment time, and supplies used in responding.
Syracuse also offered words of encouragement to county workers involved in the cleanup effort.
"We are fortunate to have a lot of really great folks working for us on our road crews, and they stepped up today," Syracuse said. "We're proud of them. We're also grateful to our DPW leadership and the leadership of our county's unions, who have worked with us as partners all day long and shared our commitment to helping our neighbors."