By David Yarger
The Town of Wheatfield Town Board met Monday night for its second regular meeting of February.
A large topic of discussion was lighting issues in the town in regard to safety and completion of projects.
The meeting started off with public input from a resident who requested streetlights be placed on the corners of Captains Way and Forest Parkway off Shawnee Road.
She said, "There are not street lights their and it's very dark and we get a lot of foot traffic there between Captains Way and Matty's (Mart). There's more traffic than you'd expect, I drive that road all the time."
She added that there's a light at the Wheatfield Garden, a private road; "likely a safety issue," but not at the locations she listed.
Supervisor Don MacSwan asked Councilman Larry Helwig if there is supposed to be a streetlight at intersecting roads, which Helwig nodded in agreement.
MacSwan followed up saying, "These are two intersections that don't have lights, so it's something we'll have to go after and find out why not."
Highway Department Director Paul Siegmann chimed in on the light discussion during his input from department heads.
Siegmann said, "Captains Way there are lights ... but they're the decorative lights, not an actual corner street light. So that's what was picked, I don't know if it was by the Town Board or the developer, but there are lights there."
The resident still voiced safety concerns, saying the lights are further back from the intersection and don't shed enough light towards it.
The board approved a motion later in the meeting, which required the Town of Wheatfield to install a high-pressure LED street light at 3317 Colleen Terrace.
During board member items, Helwig concluded the lighting talk, favoring a switch to LED lighting.
"The New York State Power Authority and a couple communities in New York state have gone all LED and they're doing that because it saves money, like 80 percent," Helwig said. "There are grants out there to convert your regular street lights to LED. It's just less money. It costs a little bit to convert the fixture sets, but then they somehow give you grant money towards that conversion. It's something we need to look into and I think they're gonna be knocking on the supervisor's door."
In other news, Tim Zuber from Wendel, the town's engineers, said the Planning Board has had discussion with Moog on their expansion plans, and the board began a coordinated review under the State Environment Quality Review. Zuber asked to place a motion to make the Planning Board the lead SEQR agency and to set a public hearing regarding a special use permit for the town. MacSwan wanted to know more information, because "they're expanding over at the Bell area and some of the materials they're handling may be hazardous and in order to do that it requires a special permit and I would say before we grant any approvals, we should know what we're talking about first."
The board scheduled a work session at 6:30 p.m. on March 19 and then a public hearing at 7 p.m. the same night.
Moving on, the board adopted the "ThinkDIFFERENTLY" initiative to help people improve their ability to communicate with, provide for and support those living with autism and special needs. Councilman Curt Doktor was a strong advocate for the initiative.
"This is a movement all across New York," Doktor said. "It's definitely a fantastic movement for a great cause and I think it's something that Wheatfield should support and be proud to support."
Next, the Town Board authorized the Highway Department to purchase two Ford F-550 pickup trucks with chassis only. The two trucks, purchased under the Onondaga bid, were a combined total of $92,608.11. The item was approved unanimously.
Next, the board approved the Parks and Recreation Department to lower the cost of open pickleball from $6 per day to $4 per day.
The town also decided to become a $500 corporate sponsor of the 100 live in 100 days free CPR and AED training campaign. The campaign is being administered by Tri-Community Ambulance Service Inc. and Action CPR LLC, with the goal of teaching civilians proper life-saving skills to help save others from sudden cardiac arrest.
Following agenda items, Helwig said there was going to be a public information open house from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Wheatfield Community Center regarding the Niagara River trail along River Road. Helwig said Wendel would pitch five alternatives that residents could hear and ask questions about. The meeting occurred as the Tribune was sent to press.
MacSwan later added, "This is more of a public information meeting and the Department of Transportation is looking to finalize and absorb the cost from the North Tonawanda line to the Niagara Falls lines."
Doktor teased a possible event coming to Wheatfield. USA Cycling recently reached out to run a series of bike races in the town. He said there weren't too many specifics, but the town is in talks with the group.
He added, "I think it would be a great benefit to the economy and also a fun event for the community to attend and be a spectator at."
MacSwan decided after Doktor's teaser to set a public hearing for USA Cycling to pitch their ideas to the town. The meeting is slated to start before the next regular Town Board meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 5. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.