Archive for the ‘Dept of Public Works’ Category

Follow Springville’s Lead – Time for South Towns to Support Rail Trail

In Board of Trustees, Dept of Public Works, Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Code Enforcement on December 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

This past week a Buffalo News Editorial supported the development of B&P rail corridor into a multiuse trail.  The Editorial referred to the opening of the Springville section — the 1.8 mile Springville Pop Warner Rail Trail — as the proof that a rail trail is the proper use of the “abandoned” 27 mile rail line that runs from Orchard Park to the Town of Ashford.

Springville opened its trail because it had community financial support, village government support, and a right-of-entry agreement with the B&P.  Currently the B&P is negotiating a “railBanking” agreement with Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail, a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and reuse of the 27 mile corridor.  Negotiations are moving ahead, with both parties committed to executing a contract.

With these developments, it is time for the Town of Concord, the Town of Colden, the Town of Aurora, the Town of Orchard Park and the Village of Orchard Park to move forward with plans of developing a multiuse trail.

It takes time to plan the design and use regulations of a proposed trail.  It takes time to secure the funding for construction, and to amend local code for maintenance and enforcement.  Public input meetings are crucial.  On site visits to mitigate concerns of safety and invasion of privacy are necessary.  So beginning the process now would be a prudent step in the right direction.

Springville formed committees to investigate the feasibility of a rail trail.  Its trustee acted on a resolution to support the railbanking process.  It formed the Springville Rail Trail Steering Committee to make recommendations to the Board of Trustees and collaborate with ECRT.  Public events were held to gain information on how the public would use the trail and what designs might work the best. All this planning happened years before the right-of-entry contract was finally signed and financing and construction could begin.

Springville began the trail initiative in 2009 and the trail opened in 2016 — that’s 7 years — and we beat the average length of time for trail development which is about 15 years.

Southtowns communities should begin their planning now.  It is the right thing to do.  The preservation and reuse of the corridor for recreational use will enhance their own communities as well as all of Erie County.  Careful and open planning of this worthy 21st century project will mitigate fears of change.


Springville Rail Trail Opens Next Month

In Board of Trustees, Dept of Public Works, Uncategorized on July 26, 2016 at 12:36 pm

The Springville ‘Pop Warner’ Rail Trail will open this August.  Much of the construction work this summer has been to develop the trail from Waverly to West Main Street.  The Springville Community Foundation grant of $12,000 was use by the Village DPW to purchase benches, picnic tables, trees, and signage  to transform the discontinued rail road right of way into a multiuse trail.

As you walk on the trail, you will find the surface from Waverly to West Main St is rolled asphalt millings.  The rest of the trail in the Village is the compressed rail bed with just some ballast left behind from the demo work of the B&P RR.

Presently, the Village is waiting for NYSDOT approval of the cross walk across West Main which is route 39.  Regulatory signage will be installed soon.

The Pop Warner Steering Committee and the Village is planning a ribbon cutting ceremony in September.  The Springville trail will be the first secton of rail trail on the 27 mile discontinued rail line.  ECRT is close to gaining ownership of the entire section through the Federal rail banking process.20160607_104730.jpg

Ribbon Cutting at S Buffalo St Drop Structure!

In Board of Trustees, Dept of Public Works, S Bflo St Culvert, Uncategorized on November 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Federal Grant, Erie County Agreement, Village Contract Gets The Job Done

Just seven months ago, the Village of Springville was facing a nagging problem here at the South Buffalo Street drop structure-culvert.  There was a threat to public safety and to our Village streets with the detour of the north-south traffic. There was a significant threat to the Village water, sewer, and electric infrastructure.  And with budgetary constrains, there seemed to be little hope that for a long term repair by the County.  It was a frustrating problem.  But some creative cooperation and thinking among three levels of government solved the problem no one level of government could solve itself.

Today, we celebrate an intermunicipal agreements and contracts among three level of governments: The Village of  Springville, Erie County, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Through these agreements, Cold Springs Construction Company completed emergency repairs of the South Buffalo Street drop structure-culvert assembly which allowed Erie Country to reopen South Buffalo Street, a main north south thoroughfare in our Village.

Many thanks to everyone involved.  First and foremost is Erie County Legislature John Mills. John interceded for the Village in the County Government during negotiations which resulted in the agreements which secured the county’s share of the matching funds for the NCRS grant, and permitted the Village to contract for repairs of this county road.

Secondly Mr. John Whitney of the NCRS who worked very closely with the Village on the three phase comprehensive stream bank stabilization project along Spring Brook in the Village of Springville.  The total NCRS grant for this work in the Village is $3,000,000.  The drop-structure-culvert assembly phase was $1,300,000, the stream bank stabilization through the SYI grounds was $600,000, and the stream bank stabilization at the Waste Water Treatment Plant was $1,100,000.

Also I must give a tremendous thanks to our management team of Tim Horner, Karl Lux, and Audrey Seeley, whose accounting, engineering, and legal expertise successfully negotiated these much needed infrastructure improvements in our Village.  There is no better example of the efficiency and effectiveness of the administrative form of Village government than how the Village of Springville mobilized itself with this professional team to secure these intermunicipal agreements and contract, and complete these improvements in a period of just six months.

And finally, a special thanks to the Cold Springs Construction Company.  They provided a much need service to our Village as it was completing the 219 extension project at the west end of our Village.  The crew was attentive to our needs, making sure the SYI summer recreation program went ahead as scheduled.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this unique intermunicipal natural resource and infrastructure project.

Erie County Plans to Rebuild Culvert on S Bflo St

In Dept of Public Works, S Bflo St Culvert on October 18, 2009 at 9:34 pm

At a recent meeting of Erie County and Springville officials concerning the damaged culvert on South Buffalo Street, Erie County Public Works Commissioner Jerry Sentz explained a 3 to 5 year project to rebuild the culvert.  The street has been closed since last winter when the soil began to erode under the sidewalk on the west side of the street.

Sentz estimates that the reconstruction cost will be about $2,500,000. and take three to five years to complete.  Most of this time will be spent securing financing and conducting engineering studies.  The extensive project will include NYS Department of Environment, and Army Corp of Engineers.  County Legislator John Mills is contacting Congressman Brian Higgins to secure support for the project.

A previous plan to repair the culvert, open the street to traffic by next spring, and seek a long term solution in the next ten years was abandoned by Erie County after a closer examination of the damaged culvert. Examination of soil samples and the stream bank showed that the stream bed of Spring Creek dropped causing the west end of the culvert to crack.  The break in the culvert caused the erosion of the road bed.  And the drop in creek bed has caused the erosion of the surrounding stream bank.

According the Sentz, the damage to the culvert and the condition of the stream banks immediately down stream make any immediate and short term repair of the existing culvert impossible.   “From an engineering stand point, a temporary fix is impossible,” said Sentz.

To rebuild the culvert, the County proposes to eliminate the existing spillway upstream and replace it with a culvert that angles down from the east side of the street before it levels offs on the west side of the street.  This design would channel the flow of water through the elevation drop from the east side to the west side of the road, and slow the flow of water down stream.

As the engineering and financing of the project begins, the County plans immediate steps to mitigate the erosion at the sinkhole, and to secure the safety of the site.  Karl Lux , Springville DPW Superintendent noted that water runoff from both the north and south sides of the street are causing the continual erosion.  Sentz is planning sandbag check dams to divert the water runoff to the sides of South Buffalo St.  Village Administrator Tim Horner explained that the culvert’s proximity to the Springville Youth Inc.grounds causes a safety issue.  Sentz is planning to extend the fence to the creek bed to further deter children from entering the culvert site.

Mayor Bill Krebs asked Sentz to plan for snow removal during the winter months.  The street was closed last winter from Woodward south, preventing access to SYI.  After a brief discussion, Sentz said he would instruction local County crews to plow the snow to the east side of the street and keep access open to SYI.

Krebs said “I’m encouraged about the Erie County plan to fix the problem on this street.  I am not satisfied with the projected five years, but the County’s latest plan will eventually address all our concerns.”

According to Krebs, “The closing of the street for three to five more years is a great disappointment to area residents who use South Buffalo Street daily.  The rerouting of traffic tries the patience of drivers and increases the traffic on Village streets and in the Municipal Parking Lot.  Its continued closure remains a substantial threat to the infrastructure of Village.  The sewer line on the east side of the street remains vulnerable to the erosion, and the rerouting of this sewer line will cost about $300,000.  Also, the erosion at the sinkhole continues to threaten SYI.”

Erie County plans to meet again with Springville concerning the culvert next month.

Springville Storm Damage

In Dept of Public Works, Public Safety on August 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm



Springville residents have  reacted quickly and cooperatively to clean up after the recent storms.  The Springville DPW, Fire Department, Police Department, and Control Center worked around the clock provide for public safety and get the Village open.  After the intial damage to the electric services, the Electric Division restored power to all Village services within 24 hours.

Residents will remember this storm for years for its damaging winds that toppled tall old maples and torrential rains that flooded our streets and cellars.  A special thanks for the cooperation residents showed in providing for public safety during the crisis.

Below is a brief  description of Village infrastructure and services during and after the storms.

The Storm

A severe thunderstorm with high winds hit Springville at approximately 1400 Aug 9, 2009 damaging and blowing down many trees (especially mature hardwoods) and causing property damage to dwellings, automobiles, accessory use structures.  At approximately 0100 Aug 10, more thunder storms produced torrential rains which caused flooding and many emergency calls to the Control Center.  A State of Emergency was declared at 0215 on Aug 10.  The travel ban was lifted at 1130 Aug 10 after the flooding subsided and the DPW Streets Division cleared the streets of debris.  The Village State of Emergency continues.  Erie County Executive declared Erie County in the State of Emergency at approximately 1700 Aug 10.  Gov Patterson declared Erie, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties disaster areas on Aug 10.


At 0200 on Aug 10, the following streets were flooded: Glenn Street,Chestnut St,Eaton from Winsmith to N Buffalo,Smith St,N Buffalo from the High School to Main St,Maple St,W Main at RiteAid.

Fire Dept : Assisted in numerous calls for flooded basements, downed wires, and fallen trees on Aug 9 & 10.  On Aug 12, the SVFD sent a detail to assist in Gowanda.

Electric Division: Several hundred customers were without electric service after the first storm at 1400 Aug 9.  Electric crews worked around the clock to restore power to Village residents by 1430 Aug 10.. Crews were called out at 2030 on Aug 10 for hanging wires on East Ave.

Waste Water Treatment Plant: The blow downs knocked out power to the plant from 1400 Aug 9 to 1430 Aug 10.  There was major erosion along Spring Brook.  Trees fell on parts of the plant facility.  Excessive flows contributed to plant overflow.

Water and Sewer Division:  Back-up generators were used at pump stations on East Ave and East Main St to keep sanitary sewer levels safe during to power outage on Aug 9 afternoon.  .  Pump and filtration building lost power temporarily during the early morning hours of Aug 10, but back-up generator kept the water flowing to the Village residents.  Crews helped at the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Streets Division:  All Village Streets were partially or fully blocked by downed branches, trees, or wires from 1400 Aug 9.  Streets Division crews made streets passable for Electric crews by 1800 Aug 9.  The subsequent heavy rains and downed wires resulted in a Travel Ban from 0215 to 1130 Aug 10.  Clean up of debris from the streets and debris from private property placed curbside will continue through August.  Some streets may temporarily or partially be closed to facilitate removal of trees.

Damage to Private Property:  Tree trimmers and contractors continue work on private residences.  Residents urged to report damage to private property to Village Hall.  Streets Division will continue daily brush pickup as needed through August.  BCH sustained damage to a retaining wall and a lightening strike which continues to hamper telephone communications.

Personal Injury:  The Fire Department reported no EMS calls related to storm injuries.

State of Emergency:  The Village State of Emergency will continue through Thursday Aug 13, at which time the Village will reassess the need for a State of Emergency.  The Driving Ban was lifted at 1130 Aug 10.  Mike Willibey, Springville and Town of Concord Disaster Coordinator, has been in contact with the Fire Department, Police Department, Control Center, DPW, Village Administration.  Residents urged to report private damage to homes at the Village Office.

TV Coverage of S Bflo St Highlights Village Frustration

In Dept of Public Works, Public Safety, S Bflo St Culvert on July 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

TV coverage from Channel 4 highlights our frustration with Erie County in taking the lead to fix South Buffalo St which is an Erie County Road.  The collapse of the culvert and the closing of the road poses safety concerns to the Village, inconvenience to Village and Town residents, and major threats to our Village infrastructure.  It has taken six months for the county to sit down at a meeting and discuss procedures that will eventuall lead to repair.  Meanwhile, the summer rains keep eroding the road and culvert.  Our fears are that eventual erosion will weaken the sewer line on the east side of culvert.


Springville Sinkhole Problem Gets Worse

No one investigates like News 4

Updated: Tuesday, 07 Jul 2009, 8:57 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 06 Jul 2009, 10:54 PM EDT

SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – A huge sinkhole in Springville has gotten even worse, and neighbors want to know why.

It’s been a month since News 4 last visited South Buffalo Street.

Springville Mayor Bill Krebs said, “It’s still moving. It’s moving this way. And the hole is increasing in length north and south.”

Mayor Krebs is frustrated with the slow progress of getting it fixed, “Six months to get half way across this road for this erosion; we can’t wait. We can’t wait another winter. Something has to be done.”

Krebs tells News 4 the village is looking for Erie County to step up and make something happen, since it’s a county-owned road.

Mayor Krebs said, “We were hoping that the county would take an immediate lead in this, and see the problem for what it is.”

Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner Gerry Sentz said, “We’re all working very closely together. No one entity is taking the lead.”

Sentz says he recently met with village and town officials and state and federal agencies to see what needs to be done, “What we think is happened is there some hollowing out from underneath the culvert. We don’t know why. And that the end of the culvert is dropping. So basically what you’re seeing is, it’s dropping off and it’s opening up, and all the dirt is falling in. And the more dirt that falls in the bigger the hole gets.”

The next step, according to Sentz, is getting in and inspecting the culvert to see why water is getting underneath. That will require a temporary dam to halt the flow of water just above the spillway of the stream.

Commissioner Sentz said, “We need to do more investigative work.”

But village officials like Mayor Krebs, and some nearby residents are tired of waiting.

Springville resident Donna Czora said, “They’re saying at least maybe two years.”

The problem goes beyond the road itself. The creek bank near a youth park is showing signs of earth movement. Despite signs and some fencing around the impact zone, lots of kids are walking and riding bikes in the area.

Springville resident Shirley McCarthy said, “I can’t believe that they can leave it like that, and then open it up so that the kids can go to community pool.”

Aside from the traffic disruption and obvious safety concerns, the road collapse poses a very real environmental threat.

Village officials are worried that a sewer line several feet away could break just as the water line did.

Krebs said, “If that cracks, we will be dumping raw sewage into Spring Brook which runs down to Cattaraugus Creek.”

Any way you look at, it’s going to be a big job, and a big expense.

Sentz said, “Right now we don’t have any idea what we’re looking at.”

Krebs said, “We can’t wait five years, like Tonawanda Creek Road up north, to be fixed. This can’t wait that long.”


More News on S Bflo St – Finally

In Dept of Public Works, Public Safety, S Bflo St Culvert on July 3, 2009 at 12:47 pm

On June 30, Erie County Public Works Commissioner and other Erie County, Town of Concord, Army Corp of Engineers and NYSDEC officials met with Village DPW Superintendent Karl Lux to discuss and inspect the damaged culvert on South Buffalo St.  This is the first meeting of all these stakeholders since the culvert collapsed in January, and although it took six months to happen I am confident that the meeting will move the repair of this Village street forward.  The representatives agreed that all would have to cooperate to fix this problem.  Initial inspection indicates that the fall in the creek bed caused the collapse of the earth on the west side of the culvert.  The team did not determine a time schedule  for inspections, planning and repair, but I have communicated the need for timely action to fix this problem.  Springville residents deserve a prompt repair to this damage that threatens  public safety and village infrastructure, and impedes vehicular traffic.

In a related manner, Erie County highway department is working on signage for a legal detour that would direct traffic to Elk Street.  Also, traffic engineers are consulting Springville DPW on how to mitigate the safety concerns of the traffic using our municipal parking lot.  These plans should be finalized and in place in the near future.

Springville cannot wait the five years it took for Erie County to fix Tonawanda Creek Road.  Six months is way too long by our standards, but some progress is being made.

Electric Power Shut Down May 2

In Dept of Public Works on May 3, 2009 at 9:50 pm

The Electric Division shut down the power on Saturday morning at 6:00 AM to repair a cross section on a utility pole at the Nason Blvd Substation that carrried a 500 volt transmission line.  The only way to repair the damaged pole was to cut the power to the entire service area.  Everything went well and and the power was back on in about one hour.

When emergency shut downs must be made, the Electric Division sends a notice to the WSPQ, the police, the fire department, the hospital, and the Control Center.  Also, they notify the large retails stores and restaurants.  The Fire Department assist by directing traffic at the lighted intersections and manning the portable generators.

S Bflo Culvert Update

In Dept of Public Works, Public Safety, S Bflo St Culvert on May 2, 2009 at 10:00 pm
Relocated barricades & access to SYI

Relocated barricades & access to SYI

This week, the Erie County Highway Department  installed temporary construction site fencing around the damaged culvert on South Buffalo St.  The new fencing improves the public safety at the erosion site by replacing the orange snow fence which never was properly installed.  Also additional signage warns the public of the danger of the cave-in.    Furthermore, the County Highway Department moved the barricades on S. Buffalo St closer to the damaged culvert so that vehicles can access SYI.  After months of closing access to the hub of youth recreation in Concord and Springville, Erie County finally reopened the facility.  S. Buffalo is still open to pedestrian traffic along the east side.

This recent work by the County is welcomed, but this action addresses only some of our concerns about the damaged culvert.  We still need the culvert repaired and the street opened.  There is no question about the inconvenience the closure is causing.  We can only guess at the effects of the road failure at this culvert will have as the it continues.  Also, the lack of an effective detour causes a Village problem on our side streets and in our municipal parking lot.  Furthermore, the erosion is a threat to our water, sewer, and electric utilities.  Our DPW is currently addressing these issues, but not without a cost to the Village.  And while the County agrees to participate in future meetings about the culvert, the County has made it clear that it currently has no plan to repair it.  A meeting is scheduled next week.

Grass walk way on east side of culvert.

Grass walk way on east side of culvert.

Warning on fence at erosion.

Warning on fence at erosion.

South Buffalo Culvert

In Dept of Public Works, Public Safety, S Bflo St Culvert on April 15, 2009 at 2:44 am

The damaged culvert and the closed road on South Buffalo Street continues to be a main concern of the Village.  At the present time, Erie County has no plans to repair the culvert.  The damaged culvert remains a threat to public safety, a threat to Village infrastructure.  The present detours installed by the county create vehicular and pedestrian safety concerns, and block access to SYI recreational facilities.  At a meeting on Monday, representatives of the Town of Concord and Springville Youth Incorporated met with Village Officials to discuss the impact of the damaged culvert and closed road on the Village, the Town, and SYI.  There is a clear consensus in our community that the culvert needs to be repaired and the road needs to be  reopened.  Also, there the community leaders agree that the County must take action in the next two weeks to allow access to the SYI Recreational facilities.  On Thursday, the Village Attorney will meet with County attorneys and present the need for immediate action.  Erie County Legislator John Mills has toured the site and supports our efforts to get immediate action by the County.damage-to-road-and-walk