By David Yarger
On Monday night, the Town of Wheatfield Town Board met for the monthly meeting at Wheatfield Town Hall. The meeting was rather brief, but covered a few interesting topics for residents.
First, the board authorized bid documents for refuse waste collection and disposal to negotiate a new contract once the town's current agreement with Modern Disposal expires.
Town Supervisor Don MacSwan said the town has had a contract with Modern for years, which they extended twice and were looking to extend again with no increase in cost. MacSwan said he was pleased to hear no additional costs and the town was ready to sign the contract but Modern called the town and said, "We can't do it a third time, because potential litigation, so that's why we're putting up the bid."
MacSwan said the board has been pleased with the work Modern has done and he expects them and several other disposers to place a bid.
The board took a step in the right direction regarding road paving. The Town Board authorized MacSwan and Highway Superintendent Paul Siegmann to complete a grant packet that would aid the town in purchasing an asphalt paving machine for $399,195. The paver would be funded through a grant from Sen. Rob Ortt and once Siegmann and MacSwan finish the grant packet, they'll submit it to the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York for the official grant review.
Siegmann, during department head items, was also thanked by the board for the work the Highway Department did on Kreuger Road.
The Town Board also agreed to enter an inter-municipal agreement for a patrol vehicle between Niagara County. The 2016 Ford Explorer patrol car will replace one of the constable's vehicles, which is in "poor condition."
The board also executed an amended subdivision map for the Timberlake subdivision with the sole purpose of removing any reference that the vacant town lot on Ontario Drive be deemed potential park land.
For a while now, the town had trouble transferring the property because companies would not insure the property as residential with it being indicated as park property. Setting up the subdivision map redacts the lot as potential park land. The town had never used the lot as park land and never had "any reasonable need for park land to be established on said lot."
The board also authorized the town to post internally for a part time secretary job on the Comprehensive Task Force. The position would be paid hourly for meetings only, at an overtime rate of his/her current wage. Letters with interested are due July 15.
During board member items, Councilman Curt Doktor said the town is brainstorming the idea of switching the towns lighting to LED. Doktor said the board is looking at two options - one with National Grid and another with the New York Power Authority. After brief discussion, the board optioned to further study the NYPA idea.
The current town lights are a high-pressure sodium and Doktor estimated the town had about 450 lights - an annual operation fee of around $175,000.
Doktor said the NYPA option "involves the town purchasing our own LED lights. What makes this option really powerful is we're going to be aggregating our purchases and contracts with other towns in Niagara County. When you do that, you increase your quantities, you lower your costs, so that's really the benefit there.
"There looks to be ... a good amount of interest from other towns in Niagara County, so this option looks very promising. Ultimately, from what we know so far and preliminarily, this looks to be able to save a lot of money. We're hearing some and upwards of 50 percent all the way up to 65 percent, so you're talking about all the way up to potentially $100,000 savings per years."
Doktor added the first step the board would take is setting up some LED light fixtures at Town Hall to study the differences between LED and the current high-pressure sodium lights.
MacSwan added that NYPA would take care of the engineering for no charge and that the town's meetings with NYPA "have been very positive."
Lastly, MacSwan said he had a meeting regarding the Greenway trail from North Tonawanda to Niagara Falls along River Road.
"It was a very positive meeting. It looks like we're on top of the list for having the Greenway completed between North Tonawanda and Niagara Falls - Niagara Falls is now involved with this, as well. Becky Wydysh (Niagara County Legislator) was very impressed with what the proposal is ... so it looks like things are moving along very quickly on the Greenway," MacSwan said.
The next Town of Wheatfield Town Board meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. with audit results on Aug. 6.