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Grand Island: Town miffed about mowing

Sat, Jun 3rd 2017 07:00 am
A vehicle heading south on the Beaver Island Parkway is partially obscured by tall grass in the median, in a photo taken from the path near Kaegebein Park. (Photo by Larry Austin)
A vehicle heading south on the Beaver Island Parkway is partially obscured by tall grass in the median, in a photo taken from the path near Kaegebein Park. (Photo by Larry Austin)
By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Members of the Grand Island Town Board vented their frustration this week with the state's care of the two parkways on the Island it's responsible for maintaining.
 
Grass in the medians and on the sides of the roads is knee-length and higher in many spots. Two mowers were seen on the Beaver Island Parkway Thursday morning between Love and Fix roads, the first sign of mowing this spring.
 
Councilman Mike Madigan plans to follow up on the matter at Monday's Town Board meeting. Madigan sent a memo to Town Clerk Patricia Frentzel Thursday to add the issue to the Town Board agenda for the 8 p.m. meeting. The subject line on the request said "NYS Neglect/lack of appropriate mowing frequency on both Parkways."
 
He called for a resolution "to formerly register our safety and other concerns regarding the neglect of our two parkways in terms of appropriate mowing frequency."
 
"The lack of appropriate maintenance and mowing along both the South Beaver Island Parkway and the West River Parkway has created unsafe conditions at intersections where the parkway medians and corners have weeds and grasses that are taller than many small cars creating a very real traffic safety hazard. The lack of appropriate sight lines due to tall grasses blocks views of oncoming cars placing all at risk."
 
Madigan wrote that "these parkways look like hell and this neglect has created an aesthetically unpleasant impression of major parts of Grand Island."
 
According to Madigan, the state commits to at least two and at most five mowings per year.
 
"As demonstrated by the conditions observed this past month, this frequency is insufficient and impacts the community safety and aesthetics," Madigan said.
 
Town Supervisor Nathan McMurray threatened to mow the grass if the state doesn't. He mocked the state on social media, printing out an invoice to bill the state "Department of Transportation Mowing Dept. (or lack thereof)." McMurray's bill, posted on his Twitter account, included $200 for "Cutting of jungle-length grass," $100 for "Far too much gas," $25 for "Supervisor's snacks and sunscreen," and $10 for "General inconvenience free for calling you every day."
 
The tweet said, "It's a joke, of course, but (Deputy Highway Superintendent Dick) Crawford and I said, 'Cut or we will.'"

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