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Condition of county roads to improve in Boston

BOSTON — An ongoing cause of concern within the town of Boston has been the condition of the town’s county roads, but Boston Councilman Jay Boardway said that a recent conversation with Erie County Legislator John Mills has him feeling optimistic.

The two elected officials met on April 16, hours before the town board’s most recent meeting, in which Boardway disclosed the information shared in the conversation, which was regarding the county roads.

“Interesting politics is what’s been going on with the county, unfortunately,” said Boardway, who was sitting in for absent Supervisor Martin Ballowe. “As you guys may recall, last year there was a list of projects in the town of Boston that we were promised would get done, or would at least be worked on, and somehow throughout the summertime, those monies got spent in other municipalities and not the town of Boston. As you also may recall, I was quite vocal when that occurred.”

Boardway said that he and Mills had a long discussion about this list, on the morning of April 16. “He’s assured me that that is not going to be the case, this year,” the board member said, explaining that “the different legislative majority now at the county level has a little bit more control over that pot of money that’s to go to roads, and it’s agreed by the legislative majority, for the most part, that a lot of towns have been neglected. So there’s a little bit of leverage going on.

Boardway said that a meeting scheduled for April 24 had been slated, to disperse funding for highways and projects that have been proposed.

“I’ve been assured that some of our roads, particularly Boston State Road here, and the Hillcroft bridge – whatever they can do to work on that part of it, at least – will be part of those funds this year, and then Mills and myself and Supervisor Ballowe ... are going to walk some of the other problem spots,” Boardway said, adding that Highway Superintendent Bob Telaak will also be involved, where county roads are concerned.

“He wants to actually physically go there with us and [have] us point to the spots and point to the problems and show him,” Boardway said. “After next Thursday, we should have a target list of which [roads] are going to be repaired, this year.”

In other board news:
– The board held a public hearing about the granting of a franchise to Donald Rachwal to mow, trim and/or cultivate the vacant land owned by the town of Boston, situated at 8555 Boston State Road, for the term of April 16 – Oct. 30.

“This is the property that’s almost immediately across the street, behind and adjacent to the south side of the New York state police barracks,” Boardway said. “The town by law owns the property, and, if we want it to be used by anyone, we have to grant a franchise to that individual. Mr. Rachwal has done this for the past few years. He’s done a fantastic job with maintaining our property over there; has taken pretty good care of it. He’s been a pretty good steward of it.”

There was no public comment. The board unanimously voted to authorize Ballowe to grant a franchise to Rachwal, who will “provide all machinery, labor and costs for this franchise, including insurance, with no cost to the town.”

– The board approved the reappointment of Robert Chelus to the zoning board of appeals.

– Amanda Jenson was approved for part-time employment with the parks department, per Telaak’s request.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 7 at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.
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