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Snow melt causes Wheatfield water woes

by jmaloni
Thu, Feb 24th 2011 03:05 pm

by Susan Mikula Campbell

Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe plans to have some answers ready at Monday's Town Board meeting for residents of the Eagle Chase development, who are tired of dealing with flooding of their main road.

Snow melt last Friday meant that for the better part of the day residents couldn't drive into or out of the entrance, said Cliffe, who visited the scene and found water about 12 inches deep in the center of the road.

This week, Cliffe had a highway department crew check the drainpipes at Eagle Chase. The crew found a 30-inch line plugged with half a cord of firewood and a round, plastic children's snow sled.

"We believe that this plug forced all of the snowmelt from the rear field to find its way across the development, finding the low place to collect, the road!" Cliffe said.

On Wednesday, Cliffe planned to meet with the developer and town engineer to start discussing possible options for additional relief.

"This area has flooded several times in the past; we thought that was finally taken care of last year," Cliffe said. "The system was designed to handle the flow of water; obviously not successfully."

"We just want it fixed. We just want the developer and the town to do something about it," said Dave Delisanti, a five-year resident of the development off Lockport Road, between Baer and Nash roads.

"It's caused a lot of inconvenience for us," added fellow resident MaryLou Ribbeck.

A couple of years ago when the road flooded, she and her husband, who were on their way to participate in a wedding tried to drive through the flooded road and as a result not only missed the wedding but had to replace the engine in their car. Last Friday's flooded road meant that her husband couldn't get to work at Olin Chemical and she missed a babysitting job, which caused a problem for that family as well.

Ribbeck believes that the Town Board allowing continuing development in the area without solving the drainage issue is causing the recurring problem in her development. "They keep building homes back here," she said.

The Feb. 28 Town Board meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.

In other matters, at the Feb. 14 Town Board meeting:

•A revision to the town's junkyard law didn't come to a vote. Junkyard owners complained at a public hearing on the matter before the meeting that they felt the law singled them out as opposed to other types of businesses.

Town Attorney Robert O'Toole explained that the law already was in place and the revision actually would lessen restrictions. Currently, the law requires a stamped engineering drawing of the site. The revision would require only a legible sketch, which would be less costly.

The junkyard owners said the board should be looking for ways to keep business in the town, not restrict it, and suggested board members could be replaced.

•Highway Superintendent Art Kroening reported that there are still instances occurring of snow being pushed onto roadways in the town. So far, only warnings have been issued, but if it happens a second time a resident or business could be fined up to $1,000, he said.

•Senior citizen leader Arlene Mante reported that the senior group will be celebrating its 40th anniversary on May 14. No original members are left, so the seniors are looking for photos and information from that time.

•The appointment of Brian Fineberg as deputy building inspector was confirmed.

•It looks like negative election campaigning already is under way in some circles in the town. Local residents this week have reported unsigned leaflets being dropped in their mailboxes.

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