By David Yarger
Monday night, the Town of Wheatfield Town Board held its second meeting of the month, which resulted in the approval of a preliminary plat for the proposed Witmer Road subdivision.
The meeting began with a public hearing and presentation from Tim Zuber of Wendel Engineers, which drew comment from four residents. Remarks addressed elevation, traffic concerns and water flow.
The land is located behind the Town Hall campus where representatives have discussed placing a Town Center full of mixed-use, commercial and residential properties along with shops. Despite the possibilities, Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan said the town cannot support a Town Center at the moment, but by possibly placing this 10-lot subdivision in place, it could bring the town extra revenue.
Zuber said the southern part of the land was recently used to harvest soy beans as recently as fall of 2018. He added that the front 200 feet will be used to develop the single-family residential houses along Witmer Road.
“They’ll actually look very similar to what the other side of the street looks (like),” Zuber said. “So they’re about the same size houses and same sized lots that are over there now.”
The first resident to speak questioned the elevation of the land where the road is higher than the ground. She asked what the town would do to bring the elevation up. Zuber responded there would have to be some type of filler installed.
The resident asked if the fill would be clean and sanitary material.
“We wouldn’t want anything other than clean material,” Zuber said. “As we go through the final phases of development, this is just the preliminary plat. For the final plat, that’s where the remaining details of that will be worked out. We’ll have some estimates of how much fill we need for each lot. Then one of the decisions that will be made is who is bringing that fill in.”
MacSwan added that in his time and experience as building inspector, he assured that nothing but clean fill would be brought in.
Another resident expressed traffic concerns being a resident right next from the proposed development.
“I’m 100 percent against any buildings going up,” he said. “There’s so much traffic in that area (that) sometimes I can’t get out of my driveway. … It’s non-stop cars. If more housing goes in, it’s going to be worst. At this point, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do that.”
Another resident added, “Traffic is getting bad in that area. I, too, am concerned about traffic.”
She then questioned which direction water would flow from the development.
Zuber replied, “The water at this location actually flows west.”
Replying to traffic concerns, MacSwan said, “The fact is, the property is suitable for construction of homes. One of the things we can do is a traffic study,” but he felt the study wouldn’t do much in results.
Another resident, a neighbor of the second speaker, questioned if the ditch from the proposal would flood his neighbor’s yard worst than it already does.
“His grass is always flooded,” he said.
Zuber replied, “There won’t be anything done to that ditch. If anything, it might get cleaned out to give it a little more positive grade. … That ditch is made up of pipes that are crushed and collapsed and some that have put in at various elevations, so there’s not a nice constant slope. … One of the improvements that we’ll do is … a nice 15-inch storm pipe is put in on a nice constant steady slope, so we’ll have positive drainage along that roadside ditch.”
During the regular meeting, the preliminary plat was approved, 4-0.
In other news:
The Town Board awarded the Cayuga Drive Extension Bridge Rehabilitation Project to Patterson-Stevens Inc. for their low bid of $164,560.
The board also issued a bond resolution authorizing the acquisition of existing street lights throughout the town and the installation of energy efficient LED fixtures, which the maximum costs thereof is $1,300,000. The resolution also issued up to that amount in serial bonds to finance the appropriation.
Councilman Curt Doktor, who has spearheaded the initiative to bring LED lighting fixtures to the town, said, the move will help the town financially in the future.
“This is all about allowing us to take the next steps in securing financing in order to fund the buyout of our existing high pressure sodium infrastructure for lights and then convert them to LED. It doesn’t really bind us to accept the funding, but it says we’re getting serious about it,” Doktor said. “The financing that we’ve looked at does look very favorable to say the least. Looks like the town will be able to save at least a 15-year loan. We’re looking at 15- and 20-year options.”
Doktor added that the move could save the town over $100,000 per year over time.
The next Town of Wheatfield Town Board meeting is 7 p.m. April 1.