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Spc. Baker’s Name Nominated for New Bridge Over Catt. Creek

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By Rich Place

Last week, the Concord Town Board nominated Spc. Brian K. Baker, a Springville native who died in 2004 while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom, to be honored by naming the new bridge over the Cattaraugus Creek in his memory.

The town board, during its Nov. 9 meeting, unanimously approved the nomination, which is part of Assemblyman David DiPietro’s Commemorate Our Hometown Heroes Bridge and Road Name Program.

Concord Town Supervisor Gary Eppolito said the nomination is no guarantee the name will be approved, but said the nomination “is a great thing” and “appropriate.” The information will be sent on to DiPeitro’s office.

The new South Cascade-Miller Road Bridge over the Cattaraugus Creek, which carries old Route 219 over the gorge, opened to traffic in May. The new twin Route 219 bridges to the east were named earlier this year in memory of former Cattaraugus County Legislator Gerard “Jess” Fitzpatrick.

Baker was 27 years old when he was killed in an explosion in Baghdad, according to a report from the Associated Press. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division. The division is the military’s most deployed division, according to the AP, based out of Fort Drum.

Baker had been a junior firefighter at the East Concord Volunteer Fire Department and joined the Army after graduating from Springville-Griffith Institute in 1996, according to the AP.

In the application form, DePietro’s Commemorate Our Hometown Heroes program seeks relevant information about the veteran’s wartime service and why the individual should be commemorated.

Bridges and street signs that are approved are dedicated by the assemblyman on location with an informal ceremony for family and friends, according to the application form.

In other business, during a relatively short half hour meeting, the town board also approved potential changes to the Erie County Tax Act, giving its approval for the county to push up the start of the foreclosure process from two years to one year.

“It’s just a shame because some of these homes are gorgeous places and they are just being left there,” Eppolito said. “But by the time anybody can get into them and get the title — part of the reason is because the foreclosure process takes so long.”

Eppolito said at least 14 towns in the county had already passed the resolution.

The board also gave the go-ahead for board member James Krezmien and highway superintendent Dennis Dains to approve the lowest bidder for a roof repair project on the town’s highway barn.

“We don’t have any leaks yet, but I noticed this past summer that some of the seams are showing stress and some of the exterior extrusions are starting to show a little wear,” Dains said.

The board was presented three requests for proposal quotes for work on the garage, with the lowest bidder expected to be approved.

The board also reminded the public of a meeting at 7 p.m. On Monday, Dec. 4 at the East Concord Fire Hall to discuss the proposed roundabout at the Genesee Road/Route 240 intersection.

The next meeting of the Concord Town Board is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

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