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Town of Boston's Hillcroft bridge deemed safe

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATERS — The bridge on Hillcroft Drive in the town of Boston has been declared safe by the town board. Photo by Matt Sargeant.
BOSTON — The bridge on Hillcroft Drive in Boston has become a frequent topic of discussion, at recent Boston Town Board meetings. The board sought to put some concerns to rest, heading into its meeting on April 17. The board looked into whether or not the bridge would be fit for traffic, while also examining the possibility of replacing the structure.

After a meeting that took place with the board members and Erie County Legislator John Mills, during which a July 31 inspection by the New York State Department of Transportation was discussed, there are officially no immediate plans to make alterations to the bridge, since that inspection revealed that the structure was not in as poor shape as was originally suggested.

“The main thing is, to set some of the misconceptions aside,” Councilman Jay Boardway said. “That is a safe bridge, for any vehicles that should be regularly traveling, on our roads, including fire trucks, including school buses. We have an action plan based, in part, on our conversation and things that the county already had in the works, but the county chose not to really share [those things], with the representatives on this board. We should be the first line of business; we should be the ones who know all this stuff. We should not have to pry information out of Erie County, at all.”

The plan is to re-inspect the bridge, this July, to determine if the bridge is deteriorating and how quickly. Since there is no immediate danger, there are no plans to replace the bridge, in the near future.

“It’s an ugly bridge, but it’s a safe bridge,” concluded Boardway. “It’s not on the county’s list of emergent repair bridges. It’s not going to get replaced, this year; it’s not going to get replaced next year, unless something significant happens, in the inspection.”

In other board matters:

– Three of the board’s five members were recently recognized by the New York Assemblymen of the 147th district for lowering tax rates in Boston, for three, consecutive years. Those members included Supervisor Martin Ballowe, Councilman Jeff Genzel and Boardway.

“We do put a lot of effort into [our jobs],” Ballowe said, “and this week, we were recognized, at the New York State Assembly. We take it seriously; we work really hard. It’s nice that somebody comes up and says something to us, that you were recognized for the hard efforts you put in, for watching taxpayers’ dollars, working on drainage issues, when you know some of them are not going to be solved easily, but you try to find a way around them and you solve them. It’s nice when people do recognize our small town, for the effort that we put in.”

– Representatives from Congressman Chris Collins’ office have begun using the Boston Town Hall as a floating office. Ballowe said he used the opportunity to talk to Collins about some of the issues in Boston. Collins agreed to utilize the office on select Fridays, from 1 – 3 p.m. Ballowe said he plans to post exact dates on the town’s website, once those are publicized.

– A bid submitted by B&W Custom Concrete for $16,000 was awarded, for concrete work at Boston Commons. Two other companies placed bids: Cameron Brothers, for $16,450 and Broad Spectrum, for $16,900.

– The board carried Code Enforcement Officer William Fergusson’s approval of an additional accessory storage building for Brian and Francella Schmid. “The building size and location will meet the requirements of the Boston Zoning Code,” Fergusson reported, in a letter to the board. “A variance for the building, for square footage, was granted by the zoning board of appeals ,at the April 4, 2013 meeting.”

– An accessory storage building for Jim and Molly Morrill was also approved, per the recommendation of Fergusson.

– Michael Monin’s nomination for the Erie County Environmental Management Council was carried by the board, in lieu of current representative Richard Lee’s resignation, effective this May.

“I have been a member of the Boston Conservation Advisory Council, for over a year now, and would think that I would be a good candidate to replace Mr. Lee,” Monin said, in a letter to the board. “I am willing to commit, for a one-year term, at this point, with the possibility of extending.”

– Chairman David Stringfellow of the Boston Planning Board wrote to the board, requesting that it approve the appointments of Mary Ann Rood and Mitchell Martin to the planning board. Both requests were unanimously carried. Rood’s term will expire on Feb. 1, 2018, and Mitchell’s expiration, as “alternate member 1,” is to be determined.

– A bid to Rockworks Masonry for $18,000, including material and labor, was awarded by the board, for re-stoning the pillars of the Lions’ Shelter at the Boston Town Park. “It’s been in need of repair, for several years now,” Genzel said. Mike Flattery Masonry had also made a bid, for $24,320.

– The summer recreation staff is almost entirely in place. “We’re a very stable employer,” Boardway said. “They like working for us. All but five have asked to come back.”

There are still open positions for individuals, 16 years old and older. “College-age [workers] are kind of what we prefer,” Boardway added.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m., at the Boston Town Hall, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.


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