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Town of Hamburg obtains funds for road reconstruction

While the cold weather lingers in Western New York, the coming of spring means the onset of roadwork.

During its most recent meeting on March 24, the Hamburg Town Board, which is a “Community Development Block Grant entitlement community, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development,” announced that the town had received its CDBG funding notification on March 19, in the amount of $373,959.

The board moved forward to authorize the department of community development to submit a revised final action plan to the Buffalo HUD office.

Four projects are included within the $373,959 total: $48,959 designated for program planning/administration; $100,000 for waterline reconstruction in the village of Hamburg; $100,000 for Blasdell road reconstruction and $125,000 for town of Hamburg road reconstruction.

As part of the resolution, Supervisor Steven Walters was authorized to sign all documentation required to receive this funding.

Highway Superintendent Tom Best said that the $125,000 designated for road reconstruction in the town is enough to cover “one mile of road.” He added, “In the town of Hamburg, we have 150 miles of road. You can see why, even with that amount, you can’t get too many roads done in a year.

“If I stick around for another 55 years, I should be able to get out to all your roads,” he added, drawing a laugh from the audience.

Best said that the highway department was able to pave approximately nine miles of roadway, last year.

The board has not yet decided where to do the reconstruction. Walters explained that the highway department goes “through and [does] an assessment of the roads in mid to late spring ... and then they determine what streets to pave, based upon the evaluation of all the roads.”

He added that HUD funding supplements the town board’s budgeted amount. “The town gets two sources of funding for road repaving. The town actually budgets money within our budget for capital projects. Then the state awards [Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program] funding, so we get money from that. This is now a third source, which is going to allow us to do a little more than we would have, and there are a lot of roads that I’m sure the highway superintendent will be able to pick off, with this additional funding.”

While the supervisor said that more is always better, in terms of funding, the highway department should be able to get a good amount of local streets paved. Walters also said that the town would know the total that will be received from the state in approximately two weeks, in addition to the $400,000 in the town budget, a figure Best confirmed.

Director of Community Development Chris Hull announced that “the highway department will be getting $125,000 for paving again, this year,” which Walters called good news.

“We’ll make good use of it,” Best said.

In other board news:

– The public was given the opportunity to speak about local law No. 2. The public hearing was specified “for the adoption of an amendment to the zoning code for property located at 4462 Clark St., commonly known as ‘Lockwood’s Greenhouses.’” The land is currently zoned R-3, which permits multi-family units, but the proposal is to rezone the land to C-1, which is designated “local retail business district.”

“This was approved by the town last year with conditions,” Code Enforcement Officer Kurt Allen said. “Unfortunately, the conditions were difficult for the applicant, the Lockwoods. They had to buy additional property to accommodate a landscape buffer to shield the parking area on the premises from the adjoining property. This resulted in a delay in the filing with the department of state, and we actually missed the deadline.”

Allen said that there is no change of conditions, other than the fact that “the applicant, the Lockwoods have honored all of the conditions that were stipulated in the original approval, so they’re completed. We verified it, and everything is in compliance.”

The purpose of the rezoning, as reported by Allen, is “to perpetuate the current use of the property,” thus addressing the only public comment. No further action will be taken on the project until, at least, the board’s next meeting.

– Following a positive recommendation from the Hamburg Planning Board on Feb. 5 and a public hearing on March 10, the Hamburg Town Board reached the conclusion that a rezoning of property located on the north side of Lakeview Road, between Heltz and Southwestern Boulevard from C-2 (general commercial district) to R-A (residential-agricultural district), will not have a negative influence on the area.

Furthermore, the change “is consistent with social and economic considerations.” Walters was authorized to sign the environmental assessment form and the board issued a negative declaration regarding the rezoning’s environmental impact. The board subsequently approved the rezoning of 2.91 of the 4.93 acres to R-A, leaving the remainder as C-2.

– Walters moved that the month of April be known as “Fair Housing Month” in Hamburg, as the town recognized that each individual has the right to fair housing, living where he or she chooses, raising a family where he or she prefers and owning a home with dignity, “without fear of discrimination.”

– The department of community development was authorized to enter a contract with Belmont Housing Resources for Western New York, to provide “comprehensive housing and financial counseling services” for Hamburg. The contract will begin April 1 and continue until March 31, 2015.

– A total of $100,000, requested by the village of Blasdell, will be given to Blasdell, made up of funds from Hamburg’s Community Development Block Grant. The same total was granted to the village of Hamburg. The board then authorized the DCD “to advertise for the purpose of completing” both the village of Hamburg waterline reconstruction project and the village of Blasdell road reconstruction project.

– The DCD was authorized to work in conjunction with the town highway department to complete a road reconstruction project within one of the 12 HUD target areas, utilizing the town’s CDBG funds in the amount of $125,000.

The board will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 28 in the Hamburg Town Hall, which is located at 6100 S. Park Ave. in Hamburg. While meetings are usually held on the second Tuesday of the month, there will be no meeting on April 14, due to school holidays and certain personnel’s being out of town, according to Walters.

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