Drainage problem in Towers area a priority for Highway’s summer projects

A road crew mills Sherry Drive on April 24, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
A road crew mills Sherry Drive on April 24, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – The Town of Cheektowaga will rectify an ongoing drainage issue in the south end of town, reconstruct a road in the north end, and repave several streets around town, Supervisor Diane Benczkowski says.

Town officials will soon vote to bond $8 million to tackle the laundry list of projects.

“This is the most that we’re going to be bonding since I’ve been supervisor,” Ms. Benczkowski said.  “We’re bonding $3 million alone for storm drainage for the W. Toulon and Towers area.”

Flash flood waters consume E. Mayberry Drive the night of August 17th.  (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
South Line firefighters work to pump out a home on Towers Boulevard the night of August 17th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

The neighborhood was hit hard by a summer storm leaving several dozen basements flooded and residents steaming at a community meeting by the perceived lack of action on the town’s part.

“We can’t just pave, pave, pave.  The residents are having some big issues with stormwater drainage that they wanted to see it fixed,” she said.

The town board slashed the Highway Department’s annual paving budget to help put more money towards the drainage project.

“We allocated almost $590,000 for paving because we need to spend more on drainage this year because we promised the residents,” added Ms. Benczkowski.

Last year $2.8 million was allocated to paving.  The fund was also tapped to pay for private contractors to remove snow during January’s blizzard.  The town spent $325,000 on the contractors to remove snow from the town’s clogged streets.

“There’s still quite a bit in there from the two paving bonds in 2017 and 2018.  We’re also hoping for funds from CHIPs, Pave New York, and a winter recovery grant that we normally get from the New York State DOT,” she said.  “We took some of the most current streets off the list because they weren’t that bad and we needed to allocate money for the drainage.  Sometimes you need to move things around based on priority.”

Crews mill a town road on April 24, 2017. (Chronicle File Photo)
Crews mill a town road on April 24, 2017. (Chronicle File Photo)

Highway Superintendent Mark Wegner tells Cheektowaga Chronicle one of the streets – Southern Parkway – was just redone in 2009 but the contractor who did the street did a poor job and the road needs attention.

“We’re going to look at the footage on the streets the town board cut.  Hopefully, we get to Southen Parkway and more of Towers, see what’s left over and get to six dead ends on our list – they’re bad,” Mr. Wegner said.

East Delavan Avenue is on the list for a $60,000 road reconstruction involving new storm and sewer work.

Work will also be done at Dartwood Park and Eiffel Park as part of the highway budget.  Slate Bottom Creek will also see work to address flooding concerns.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done this summer,” Ms. Benczkowski said.

The town board also earmarked $5 million from the $8 million bond to go towards the DEC consent order in the consolidated sewer district.

Mr. Wegner hopes to get to work on the projects by March 25th.

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