Several of those present at the Town of Boston’s last board meeting had the same issue in mind on Wednesday, Feb. 20, and that issue was the plowing of county roads in Boston. Ron Yormick, a resident of the town, addressed the town board concerning the condition of county-maintained roads, and his sentiments were shared by both Supervisor Martin Ballowe and Highway Superintendent Robert Telaak.
“I want to thank Bob Telaak and his crew for the plows, the roads and everything, in the Town of Boston, how good it’s been plowed and everything and salted and sanded,” said Yormick. “I really appreciate that.”
However, the same could not be said of the county roads. “I think Boston State Road from Zimmerman down to Townline, south, is just in deplorable condition. Not only are the shoulders just a mess, I think it’s just not plowed and not maintained well.”
“I think the two accidents that you were talking about last week, I just missed that by five minutes, and that road wasn’t touched, and I can always judge how bad the road is going to be because usually the state roads are dry, the town roads are wet, and the county roads – just now coming here – aren’t touched. I’m on those roads constantly as a mailman,” he said.
Yormick suggests that the condition will be no better as the weather gets warmer. “Come springtime, they’ll be dangerous for bicyclists and walkers in general. That road is just not maintained at all.”
The problem extends to more than just one area in town. “Most of the county roads in this town are a mess,” Yormick said. “They’re just not maintained, and I know firsthand because I’m on them all the time. The only roads that are maintained well are the town roads and the state road. And, again, I want to thank Bob and his crew for the excellent job that he does. But it’s like I said, I just missed those accidents the other day by five minutes, but I knew coming down there something was going to happen. It was just a sheet of ice, and the county plows are just not around. I’m just speaking from experience; I’m on those roads all day and I don’t see plows, and they’re not maintained very well.”
Ballowe shared the sentiment, having toured the roads just earlier that day. “I was able to tour the roads with the highway superintendent today because I had some concerns, and I actually had a meeting with Councilman (Larry) Murtha today before, and we talked about the same thing, about our roads, how there’s a lack of plowing. It just so happens that I came up at 8:30 (a.m.). I live up on that hill, and at 8:30, that road was still not plowed. There was an accident on it yesterday right on that bridge right there, coming up on Zimmerman.”
The board had already begun acting on the matter before the board even convened for its public meeting. “We did let Legislator John Mills know about this, and we’ll pursue it further,” said the supervisor. “We’ll definitely put calls into or do whatever you have to, because we have noticed our roads have been neglected for the plowing. (Teklaak) sent our guys out there to treat a state road and salt it (after the accident). We went down and cleaned it and salted it.”
“The plowing has been very poor this year,” said Telaak. “The shoulders of the roads have been very poor this year. We had a truck today on Omphalius Road, which is a county road which we plow. It was snowing and blowing up there – it was 4 o’clock this morning. He got off on the shoulder, just a little bit off the pavement; well, the shoulders are very soft because it’s been wet, and he got sucked into the ditch.
“It’s a hardship getting these trucks out when they’re stuck in a ditch in the middle of the night. The roads are slippery, and it’s snowing. It’s just that the shoulders are narrow. It’s just a mess – all of our roads. It’s just the county roads are in very bad shape, and (the county) should be put on notice about fixing them. Their ditches are very deep in spots. They just don’t fix nothing anymore.”
In other board matters:
• Councilman Jay Boardway has spent the last couple week “just making a lot of contacts with people about the New York Stategun legislation,” which has been a primary topic of concern fo the councilman over the course of the last month. “It’s going to affect all the gun owners in town,” said Boardway. “We’ve got the proposal ready. The public notice is out for the resolution for our next board meeting. Anyone who wants to be heard either for or against the various provisions of that new law, we are going to have a meeting at out next meeting, so please feel free to come on down.
“The town is prepared to essentially approve the resolution, asking for the governor to repeal the law. Hopefully we can have kind of a good turnout that night and just let our voices be heard. As I’ve said before, they do stuff in Albany that we don’t necessarily always have any input in, but this one was egregious. This one was just behind our backs, and now they’re all worried that us little people are going to have something to say something about it, and we’ll have to have something to say about it. So I encourage anybody to be here at our next meeting to take care of that.”
• Mitch Martin, a Boston resident and a representative from Senator Patrick Gallivan’s office, addressed the board to inform it that the senator had received its letter requesting a speed reduction on Route 391. “I just wanted to let you know we’re working on that,” he said.
• Murtha addressed Martin regarding the speed limit on Zimmerman as well. “We’re going to be needing the influence of Senator Gallivan on a further extension of another speed reduction from Zimmerman to where the 45 mph sign is to the south. There’s so much more development there, and there are no sidewalks, and there are guardrails forcing people onto the streets.” Explaining the urgency of the situation, Murtha added, “We’ve had a couple more rollovers. It’s just a disaster waiting to happen. People have been killed.”
Since that road is a county road, Martin said he would work with Legislator John Mills to work on the project but suggested the board “at least forward a letter.”
• The board received the service award point submissions from the Patchin Volunteer Fire Company. Out of approximately 50 active members, 23 have earned enough points for service award credit this year. Those points were approved preliminarily so that they could be posted at the fire company for 30 days for the members to review.
• The board approved William Darling’s requests for a second accessory building on South Abbott Road. The request had already been run by William Ferguson, Code Enforcement Officer, whose department did not object.
• The board approved the request of Jeneen McSkimming “to enter into a three-year contract with Proserve (Technology Solutions).” This company hosts the town’s online assessment system per an agreement that expired on Feb. 26. The amount of the renewal stayed the same from the past year at $1,937.
• Dolores Valentine’s letter of resignation was acknowledged by the board. Valentine had served as the assistant nutrition program substitute. Her resignation took effect on February 21.
• The board approved the Boston Democratic Club’s request to use the Town Hall and town fields on March 30 for an Easter egg hunt.
• A request to use the town park and Lions shelter from Kristie Paxson was tabled, pending further information regarding her “dog benefit.”
The board will meet on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Boston Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road.