Pomfret grader needs repairs

Town of Pomfret officials have some options to consider now that the highway department’s 40-year-old grader has broken down.

At Wednesday’s town board meeting, Highway Superintendent Daniel Bigelow reported the grader’s final drive which turns the two left wheels blew out several weeks ago. Various courses of action the town could take may potentially turn out to be costly.

“Right now, just for parts, we’re at $11,000,” Bigelow reported. “I don’t know what to do with this machine. I mean, it is 40 years old. I can’t guarantee the right side is not going to go out of it and we don’t know why this broke.”

Bigelow told the board that his department uses the grader “quite a bit” in the summertime for grader patching, adding up to about 150 hours of maintenance work.

He added he has no problem borrowing another municipality’s grader through the intermunicipal agreement, but after heavy rains sweep the area and wash out roadways and cause damage, all graders around the area will more than likely be in use, leaving Pomfret nowhere to immediately turn.

Purchasing a used grader for the town ranges in cost from $140,000 to $55,000, Bigelow said. Supervisor Donald Steger asked Bigelow to check into lease prices and report back to the board with those findings.

“I have been in contact with St. George, and they do have a grader there for rent, if needed,” Bigelow noted, adding he will inquire about prices when asked to by the board. “I feel I can get through this season (without having to take any action), but we would definitely need something by spring. Our next piece of equipment (to replace) is supposed to be a truck … and we’re going backwards right now and we really need to get a plan together.”

Also during the meeting, Town Clerk Allison Dispense announced Pomfret, along with three other municipalities in Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties, earned a significant grant to digitize various vital statistics and records.

The grant is for about $49,000, though it is unclear if that amount is for Pomfret solely or all four municipalities. More information will be presented at a future meeting.

The board adopted Local Law No. 2 of 2014, which provides for an updated town code book. Changes to the book included minor grammatical fixes and definition updates, as well as the integration of adopted amendments from the past 20 years into the main text, making it easier for people to sort through.

Steger announced Pomfret’s final equalization rate for the year remains unchanged at 20.21 percent.

Councilman Brett Christy was appointed as the town’s liaison for the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan.

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