Fire lane violators face fines

Motorists may soon be fined for parking in fire lanes in front of businesses along Vineyard Drive, particularly at Tops Plaza. A workshop and special meeting were held at the Town of Dunkirk offices Tuesday to discuss the matter.

A recommendation from East Town of Dunkirk Fire Chief Joel Biscaro was made in August to begin the process of allowing Dunkirk police to issue the parking tickets.

According to the proposed law, which has not yet been officially filed, no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle on or alongside any town road, street or town right of way, which is marked by official signs.

The town board also talked about the potential amount of the fine if the law is violated.

Councilman Robert Penharlow said, “I was thinking $25 would be a good figure.”

Town Supervisor Richard Purol said, “I thought of $50, right off the bat.”

The board proposed and approved the amount of $25 per ticket.

Purol said there have been businesses complaining that people drive up to the fire lane, lock their vehicles and walk away.

“If you’re just dropping somebody off, that’s fine, but when the vehicle is left parked for an extended period of time, it becomes an issue, especially in the event of an emergency,” Purol said.

Councilman Juan Pagan said, “Hey, we’ll give it a shot and see what happens.”

A public hearing about the law will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Sept. 24. at the Dunkirk Town Offices on Willow Road prior to the normal board meeting which starts at 7 p.m.

Moving forward, the board talked about Wildwood Street and how residents signed a petition for more lighting. The town’s highway department trucks use the end of the street as a turnaround frequently, yet there is only one light on the road. The board received a letter from National Grid quoting a price for two poles at an estimate of $7,877. However, the amount is too high.

“That’s a lot of money to put some poles up,” Purol said, adding that the board must do more research before settling on an amount. However, it was decided that one light will indeed be added on the street.

“We think it’s a good idea because when trucks turn around it’s pretty dark down there,” Purol said.

The new light will be placed near the center of Wildwood Street.

The last item on the agenda was a review of the preliminary budget which will be approved later this year.

“We’re trying to be a little bit ahead of the ball game,” Purol said.

Penharlow and Pagan brought up the subject of making a decision as to whether or not the town offices should stay on Willow Road or move to a new location.

“We’ve been going back and forth on this and we have no direction,” Penharlow said, questioning, “Do we move or stay and start throwing money into this building?”

It was decided that the building will be discussed at a later date and board members will speak with a contractor about possibilities for the future.