by Autumn Evans
A town-wide drainage study in Wheatfield has been set into motion as of Monday night, when the Town Board approved a resolution to set out bids for engineers.
A comprehensive study was first suggested late last year in the midst of the Cobblestone Creek controversy, in order to address growing drainage issues not only by the development, but throughout the town.
"We have this tendency to look at drainage on a project-by-project or flood-by-flood basis," said Supervisor Bob Cliffe. "What we want to do is take a look at the whole town and see if we can answer some questions like, 'Is there a faster way to get water out of Wheatfield?' ... Questions like that need to be looked at for our long-term good before we make decisions on other subdivisions."
This is the first time in years a comprehensive drainage study has been done. According to Highway Superintendent Paul Siegman, the last one was "a long time ago."
"A long time ago, our population was probably like 9,000," Councilman Larry Helwig noted. "Now it's 19,000, going on 20, and we didn't have as many subdivisions. It's well overdue."
In other Town Board news:
•Developer Mike Eggers presented the preliminary plans on his proposed Shawnee Klemer subdivision, a five-house development classified as "major" because it involves five homes - one more than allowed for minor developments. Eggers confirmed the new residents will not be able to build over nearby wetlands.
A vote on the project was delayed so the Town Board could meet with the Planning Board and finish the State Environmental Quality Review process, which Cliffe said they would try to have done by the next meeting on Feb. 9.
•Bill Wagner, co-chair of the 2015 Thunder of Niagara Air Show Committee, addressed the board and the public to speak about this summer's event, the theme of which is "A Salute to Western New York."
"We recognize this is an important event for the community, but it also comes with some challenges, especially traffic and parking concerns," Wagner said. "The committee has read all the feedback - we had about 900-plus comments from the last show in 2011. We've read all of them and we recognize these are significant issues and we are diligently working with special committees to address (them)."
For more information on the show, visit www.thunderofniagara.com.
•Cliffe reported the issue with the Verizon contract, which was originally brought up at the Jan. 5 meeting, was resolved. Verizon honored the original agreement terms, though it will only last until 2017. The phones in Town Hall were scheduled to be changed out Tuesday.
•Town Clerk Kathy Harrington reminded residents county taxes are due Feb. 2, and her office will be open until 7 p.m. that night.
•Siegmann reminded residents of the proper procedure for reporting potholes. To report potholes on town roads, call the highway department at 692-3508. For county or state roads, residents should call those specific highway departments, though Siegmann said his office could direct unsure citizens to the proper department.
•Three new firefighters were added to the roster at St. Johnsburg Fire Co. Robert Roth and Shawn Jasper were named firefighters and Bryan Kieley was named a junior firefighter.