The bridge on Hillcroft Drive in Boston has become a frequent topic of discussion at recent town board meetings in Boston, and the board sought to put some concerns to rest heading into its meeting on Wednesday, April 17. While it has come to the attention of politicians and residents alike that the bridge may not be fit for supporting traffic, the board looked into the matter while also pursuing the possibility of replacing the bridge. However, there are officially no immediate plans to make alterations to it since recent evidence supports the bridge is, in fact, safe for local traffic. A recent meeting involving members of the board an Legislator John Mills brought to light an inspection on the bridge conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation just last year on July 31, which proved that the bridge was not as in poor shape as originally suggested.
“The main thing is to set some of the misconceptions aside,” said Councilman Jay Boardway. He added later, “That is a safe bridge for any vehicles that should be regularly travelling on our roads, including fire trucks, including school buses. We have an action plan based in part on our conversation and things that the county already had in the works but the county chose not to really share with the representatives on this board. We should be the first line of business, we should be the ones who know all this stuff. We should not have to pry information out of Erie County at all.”
The plan now is to re-inspect the bridge this coming July to determine whether or not the bridge is deteriorating and, if so, how quickly. Since there is no immediate danger, there are no plans to replace the bridge in the near future.
“It’s an ugly bridge but it’s a safe bridge,” concluded Boardway. “It’s not on the county’s list of emergent repair bridges. It’s not going to get replaced this year; it’s not going to get replaced next year unless something significant happens in the inspection.”
In other board matters:
• Three of the boards five members were recently recognized by the New York Assemblymen of the 147th district for the feat of lowering tax rates in Boston for three consecutive years. Those members included Supervisor Martin Ballowe, Councilman Jeff Genzel and Boardway.
“We do put a lot of effort into [our jobs],” said Ballowe, “and this week we were recognized at the New York State Assembly . . . . We take it seriously; we work really hard. It’s nice that somebody comes up and says something to us, that you were recognized for the hard efforts you put in for watching taxpayers’ dollars, working on drainage issues when you know some of them are not going to be solved easily, but you try to find a way around them and you solve them. It’s nice when people do recognize our small town for the effort that we put in.”
• Representatives from Congressman Chris Collins’s office have begun using the Boston Town Hall as a floating office. Ballowe has used the opportunity to talk to Collins “about some of the issues” in Boston. Collins has agreed to utilize the office on certain Fridays between 1 pm and 3 pm. When the dates are known, Ballowe plans to post them on the town’s website.
• A bid submitted by B&W Custom Concrete for $16,000 was awarded in regard to concrete work at Boston Commons. Two other companies placed bids: Cameron Brothers ($16,450) and Broad Spectrum ($16,900).
• The board carried Code Enforcement Officer William Fergusson’s approval of an additional accessory storage building for Brian and Francella Schmid. “The building size and location will meet the requirements of the Boston Zoning Code,” said Fergusson in a letter to the board. “A variance for the building for square footage was granted by the zoning board of appeals at the April 4, 2013 meeting.”
• An accessory storage building for Jim and Molly Morrill was also carried, per the recommendation of Fergusson.
• Michael Monin’s nomination for the Erie County Environmental Management Council was carried by the board, in lieu of current representative Richard Lee’s resignation effective May 2013. “I have been a member of the Boston Conservation Advisory Council for over a year now and would think that I would be a good candidate to replace Mr. Lee,” said Monin in a letter to the board. “I am willing to commit for a one-year term at this point with the possibility of extending.”
• Chairman David Stringfellow of the Boston Planning Board wrote to the board, requesting that it approve the appointments of Mary Ann Rood and Mitchell Martin to the planning board. Both requests were unanimously carried. Rood’s term will expire on Feb. 1, 2018, and Mitchell’s expiration, as “Alternate Member 1,” is to be determined.
• A bid to Rockworks Masonry for $18,000, including material and labor, was awarded by the board for re-stoning the pillars of the Lions’ Shelter at the Boston Town Park. “It’s been in need of repair for several years now,” said Genzel. Mike Flattery Masonry had also made a bid at $24,320.
• The staff for summer recreation is almost entirely in place. “We’re a very stable employer,” said Boardway. “They like working for us. All but five have asked to come back.” There are still open positions for individuals 16 years old and older. “Collage-age are kind of what we prefer,” added Boardway.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 pm. It will be held at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.