DEC study under way for Peerless Street Bridge project

BROCTON – The Peerless Street Bridge project is taking further shape in Brocton.

Councilmen from the Town of Portland resolved to accept a valid quote from Heritage Preservation & Interpretation Inc. for a cultural resource investigation for the project at a cost of $2,500 at their meeting earlier this month.

Because of its geographic location, explained Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz, the DEC requires NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to review the project, which will take place over Slippery Rock Creek. Credible resources lend to the possibility of an archeological site either in or near the project’s proposed area, which warrants a survey before the project can proceed.

Schrantz and the council reviewed the winning quote, as well as another bid from Panamerican Consultants, Inc. and selected the bidder based on cost estimate.

According to a letter to the town’s engineering firm from William Brian Yates, a Historic Preservation Specialist with OPRHP, “the proposed project is planned to occur in an area determined to be archaeologically sensitive for the presence of archeological sites, especially precontact Native American occupational locations.”

Work for that study was being performed as early as May 17, according to Schrantz.

In other town business, the council held a special meeting May 14 for the purpose of discussion of the intent of a part-time clerk position that was recently left vacant in the town’s code enforcement office. A subject that the council has tabled at previous meetings, no action was taken at the special meeting pending more information. When the previous clerk left the position, a new software program for data collection and entry had just been instituted for the office, and according to Schrantz, the council would like to see if that program will eliminate the bulk of the job duties normally performed by the clerk. He stated that Code Enforcement Officer Signe Rominger will be testing the process out to see if the work is something that may not require the hiring of an additional staffer.

The town supervisor also reported that litigation is active in regard to the town highway garage floor, which continues to deteriorate following the recommended grinding down of weak spots that the town complied with.

Loveland also noted to the councilmen that he hasn’t received a formal response back from bond council regarding the EDU charge for the property of Dale Morse. The council is looking into potential options for the property owner who was double charged for new water tapping when the newest water district was installed, leaving him to pay for a tap that will not be utilized as the building will not be lived in.

The town supervisor stated that the town prefers to wait on an official word from the bond council before making a decision.

Schrantz also noted that John and Carol Boltz, who suffered damage to their property during the creation of Water District 7 are in the process of obtaining outside quotes for restoration work that remains to be completed on their property.

At the May meeting, the council authorized Town Attorney Charles Loveland to begin action with a claim on the performance bond filed by H & K Services Inc.

“We’re going to proceed with whatever it takes to get a resolution to this,” Schrantz said.

Town Clerk Roxane Sobecki noted that the town’s water quality report is completed and that it will be posted on the town’s website and will also be available for review at her office.

The council will meet again June 12 at 7 p.m.