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County Plow Contract Talks at Impasse

Mortons Corners Cemetery Ownership Transferred to Town of Concord

By Jennie Acklin

At the Sept. 8 Town of Concord Board meeting, Highway Superintendent Denny Dains presented his monthly report, and reminded the community that milling is underway on Route 39 between Routes 75 and 62. According to Dains, “This allows the town highway department the advantage of receiving asphalt millings for road repairs and saves on the cost of purchasing shoulder materials.” He outlined several other projects that have taken place during the last month, and outlined additional planned projects.

The largest concern presented during his report was the status of the county plow contract negotiations. After three meetings between the negotiating committee and Erie County, the discussions are at an impasse.  The percent of increase of the proposed three-year contract is the point of discussion. According to Town of Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito, “It’s a matter of tradition to have a three -year contract, and we are asking for a 3 percent to 3.5 percent to 4 percent increase, so the Town can cover its costs.”

The county contracts for 1,239 miles of county roads to be plowed by 24 various town highway departments, according to Dains.  The Town of Concord plows approximately 28 miles of county roads.  The committee is a broad-based group of representatives from large and small communities throughout Erie County, and include the town supervisors from Aurora, Newstead and Concord, as well as highway superintendents from Orchard Park, Concord, Evans and Marilla.

“Erie County is at the lowest rate of pay per mile as compared to other local counties,” said Dains.

“It’s a safety issue for our residents, even though they are county roads (not town roads),” said Eppolito. The next meeting with Erie County is not yet scheduled, and the committee is waiting to hear from John Laffredo, Erie County’s Public Works commissioner, to set that meeting.

Under new business, Eppolito announced that the Town of Concord will accept ownership of the Mortons Corners Cemetery, located on Mortons Corners Road at Route 39.

“The Town of Concord will accept all monies for perpetual maintenance from now on,” said Eppolito. The money is used to maintain the cemetery, where the largest cost is the mowing and general upkeep.

The Town has inherited two other local cemeteries this year. By NYS law, towns must assume legal possession of the cemeteries. The Town of Concord started managing the East Concord Cemetery at Route 240 and Genesee Road approximately three years ago, according to Eppolito, and also aids the Maplewood Cemetery at Main and Forest streets in the Village of Springville.

In other new business, three public hearings were scheduled for Oct. 13, 2016: at 6:20 p.m., the  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) public hearing will take place; at 6:30 p.m., the Fire Protection Contracts public hearing will take place; and at 6:45p.m., the Town of Concord 2017 Budget public hearing will take place.

The next regular board meeting of the Town of Concord will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct.13, 2016 at 86 Franklin Street, Springville, NY.

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