By Benjamin Joe
At the last Town Board Meeting for the Town of Wheatfield this year, department heads took a look back over 2019 and also what would be needed in the future.
Supervisor Don MacSwan also updated the rest of the board with regard to the Wheatfield Gardens complaints in a Tribune issue.
“Mike (Klock) and his office (building inspector) met with the Wheatfield Gardens this morning and Matt (Brooks, town attorney) and myself and the department met today,” MacSwan said. “We spent about an hour-and-a-half meeting going over each page, verbatim, relating their requests and their concerns. We’re asking for a written response from Wheatfield Gardens to some of the concerns,” MacSwan said. “We’re also going to respond in writing, and before we do I’ll make sure all the board members have a chance to review our comments, before we send a letter to the residents there.”
The complaints against the industrial hemp grower – Wheatfield Gardens – originate from the residents adjacent to the greenhouse, and include odor, noise, and light.
However, MacSwan said, “One thing that we did notice with some of their concerns they had, I would say don’t even, what’s the word, Matt?”
“They’re outside our purview,” Brooks said. “Anything that we can have any laws or legislation on or any laws that are on the horizon. So, some generalities will just be on the scope on what we can do.”
MacSwan added, “We’re going to do the best we can with the law. There are certain things that they may not be happy with, as I said to Mike (Klock) this morning, ‘When I was building inspector, and you have two parties that don’t agree, they don’t always come out happy.’ But we’re going to do the best we can.”
Paul Seigmann made a few comments centering, again, on parking. There is no off-street parking between 2-6 a.m. to allow plows to get the town ready each morning after snowfall. Seigmann also said that leaf and brush pick-up are “probably done for the year,” as well.
“If we get some nice weather again, we’ll go out and try to pick-up what’s left, but unfortunately it was a bad fall because we had to keep stop and start with it,” he said.
Seigmann said 3.27 miles of road was paved in 2019; 1.19 miles were micro paved, 2.05 miles were chip sealed and 5.34 miles were crack sealed for a total of 11.85 miles of road work were taken care of.
“That doesn’t include patching. We hot patched every road in the town, that’s 114 lane miles,” Seigmann said. “This year we didn’t get started till June because of the weather.”
He also said 3.26 miles of ditches were cleaned; 52 catch basins were replaced; 1,272 feet of pipes were installed and 10 bubblers were replaced. In addition, 112 trees were taken down with the highway department taking down 90 and contractors hired for taking the other 22 and 48 signs were replaced. As for leaf pick-up, approximately 2 million pounds of brush was chipped and 540 tons of leaves were taken away.
MacSwan commended Seigmann on his service. He said he’s heard a lot of good things. Seigmann said that he gives the credit to his workers.
Richard Donner did not have an end of year report, because just before the meeting, he had to send his workers on a job. He said he had put in a motion on the agenda to acquire some wastewater grinder pumps.
“We definitely need them, the old pumps that were getting rebuilt constantly, we’re running into more and more of those and it’s not fiscally responsible to repair them anymore,” he said. “It’s costing more than it is to buy a new pump.”
In a late item motion, MacSwan approved the sale of surplus property on Witmer Road for $35,000.
“I believe that’s the end of the lots?” MacSwan asked.
“That’s correct, I believe that earlier today lot seven was closed,” Brooks said. “The last lot that wasn’t under contract was this lot.”
“If anybody has been down there, there’s a house under construction (in one of the Witmer Rd. lots),” MacSwan added. “That’s a good thing.”
Councilman Larry Helwig brought up two intersections on Niagara Falls Boulevard that “are on the state’s list.”
“There’s no word of construction until 2022,” he said. “There’s three times as many accidents at those two intersections (Witmer Road and Ward Road) than the state’s average. …
“It seems that two years is too long to wait, but I guess we’re going to have to.”