City Council took a final step this week toward getting some new sidewalks on five city streets.
During its business meeting, the group approved a contract with Master’s Edge, Inc. to replace approximately 6,400 linear feet of sidewalks and handicap accessible ramps on portions of Chase and Fisher parks and Seneca, Miller and Columbia avenues.
Work has already begun to repair sections of those streets, and the sidewalks are part of a “complete streets” program to pair adjacent walkway replacement with milling and paving of streets.
The contract is with Master’s Edge, Inc. of Cheektowaga as the lowest responsible bidder of $493,500 for the project. As part of the vote, Council also agreed to budget increases of $94,500 to each the revenue and expense accounts. State-funded Consolidated Highway Improvement Program money is to help with the remaining expense.
Meanwhile, over on Richmond Avenue, between Oak and State streets, motorists can expect delays as street resurfacing is to begin July 6.
From concrete to fluid ...
Another city initiative is to update water meters. Forget going door-to-door for readings, Water and Wastewater Superintendent Michael Ficarella says, installing radio heads will allow the readings to be done remotely and more efficiently from outside the home.
Some one-third of city meters have already been changed out for the higher-tech radio heads, and the remaining meters need to be done eventually, Ficarella said during the meeting.
He estimated that it would take up to six months for completion, as appointments will have to be made with homeowners to get inside access to their water meters. Council President Eugene Jankowski suggested that evening appointments be considered as an option to make it more convenient for those that work during the day.
Having such technology will mean “real-time” readings, City Manager Rachael Tabelski said. Jankowski added that it should also help alleviate undetected and ongoing water leaks. A message could be sent to the homeowner “ a lot quicker and sooner,” he said, improving the whole process.
Think that little drip, drip, drip won't cost much extra? A 1/32 inch drip adds up to 18,500 gallons per quarter, the city's website states. For more information about water leaks, how to prevent them and how much they can increase your total bill, go to the city's Water Leak page.
City Council voted to submit a consolidated funding application for the Green Innovation Grant Program for water meter upgrades.
The total cost is expected to be $1.97 million, and the city needs to commit a 25 percent local match as part of the grant application. That local match of $492,100 would be paid with Water Fund reserves, Tabelski said.
In other action, Council approved the appointments of Nicholas Harris, Marc Staley, and Paul Battaglia as citizen members, and Bob Bialkowski and Tammy Schmidt as council representatives of the city’s Audit Advisory Board.
File photo of a city street being paved. Photo by Howard Owens.