By David Yarger
On Monday night, the Town of Wheatfield Town Board met for their last regular meeting of April. During the meeting, the board scheduled two public hearings and Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan discussed the possibility of switching to LED lighting throughout the town.
The first public hearing scheduled was upon request from Wendel, the town's engineers, for a proposed change to town code dealing with off-street parking. The hearing is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. on May 21. The code currently states if a parking variance is requested, the applicant must go through the Town Board, so the change is for applicants to go through the Planning Board to speed up the process.
MacSwan said the parking requirements were too constringent in the past and the intention is to create the appropriate amount of parking spaces for retail and sales applicants in the town.
The second public hearing was upon the request of Town Attorney Matthew Brooks. Brooks had been working on a cable television agreement between Time Warner Cable and the Town of Wheatfield and in order for the contract to be approved, a public hearing needs to be held. The hearing is at 7 p.m. on the same day.
Next, the board authorized MacSwan to evaluate the use of LED lighting for streetlights in the town to reduce town expenditures and save taxpayer money.
MacSwan said, "We met with National Grid and had the discussion of converting the town's street light system to LED. It's an approximate figure right now, but the town's going to save approximately ... up to $12,900 per year. So, we're going to pursue this, and we'll see what the final digits are before we make a decision."
In other news, the town hired two part-time census clerks, Don Dee and Doris Leaderstorf, to assist Councilman Larry Helwig with the upcoming census.
The board also authorized the town to provide diesel fuel and gasoline to the Niagara-Wheatfield Central School District during the upcoming summer while the district's fuel tank system undergoes reconstruction. The town will bill the district on a periodic basis.
Also, the town conducted State Environment Quality Review for a grant under the 2018 New York State Department of Transportation BridgeNY program for the replacement of the Plaza Drive bridge. The SEQR determined the project meets the criteria of a type II action, which states "replacement, rehabilitation or reconstruction of a structure or facility, in kind, on the same site." The determination will be provided to the grant agency for further review.
Lastly, prior to the meeting, the board heard from Executive Director of the Niagara Community Action Program Suzanne Shears. Shears thanked the board for the recent $5,000 donation and said all the money would go back into the Town of Wheatfield. The program, according to a release, "Is a countywide agency dedicated to reducing poverty in a collaborative effort by initiating and conducting programs of self-sufficiency. The ultimate goal of the program is to empower individuals and families to reach their fullest potential."
Shears said, "I applaud you very much and thank you for the support, because that's what get us our home repair grants, our weatherization program, because the Town of Wheatfield supports us, along with the rest of the towns."
MacSwan added, "I think all your programs are wonderful, not just for the Town of Wheatfield, but for immediate people in Niagara County. ... I think if someone knows someone or has someone that may need some assistance along the line; what a great program to go and get some help."
The next Town of Wheatfield Town Board meeting starts at 7 p.m. on May 7.