Niagara Gazette — It's taken roughly a decade, but citizens living in Lewiston's Riverwalk housing development could soon get the drainage solution they've begged for.
Town engineer Ryan Smith laid out progress he's made in developing a plan to alleviate much of the standing water in the area of the town's wastewater treatment plant, which borders the development, Monday during the Lewiston Town Board's monthly meeting.
His plan, he said, would connect pipe from the east side of River Road with a Niagara County drainage pipe on the west side, allowing what has effectively become a pond to drain once and for all. Design is about 75 percent complete, he said, and would be ready by the end of August.
"We tried tying it in to Joe Davis (State Park), but it turned out that wasn't feasible," Smith said. "We tried to bring it down toward the wastewater treatment plant, but that also wasn't feasible. So what we found is there's a drainage pipe across River Road the county owns. I've already gotten approval from Niagara County to do this."
Thinking ambitiously, Smith's solution to the long-standing problem could be in place by the end of September, assuming all affected residents provide the town with needed easements. There's also a vacant parcel of land the town would need permission to dig on to reach the county's pipeline.
Smith said his plan calls for about 2,000 feet of 12-inch pipe to be installed along the back line of private property, which borders town-owned woodland. Easements would almost certainly be necessary, Town Supervisor Steve Reiter said, because trying to do the work on the town's land would create "a mess" with trees destroyed.
Highway Superintendent Doug Janese offered to try to fix the problem with his drainage department crew before Smith announced his plan's progress. Janese said his guys could take a look at the properties affected by the standing water and try to design some temporary measures to reduce engineering costs.
It's work the Teamsters union has exclusive rights to perform, he said, and the department is capable of fixing the issue.
"I just thought I'd try to save the town the engineering costs," Janese said. "Let the drainage guys try to fix this problem. I don't see what another month is if the problem's been there for 10 years."
In the end, though, Janese relented with Smith's announcement.
In other town news, a plan to build three four-story senior citizen apartment buildings on property owned by the Reiter family was approved by the town board by a 3-0 vote. Reiter himself abstained from the action.
The Bridgewater senior citizens homes will feature 139 units total, Reiter said. They'll be located at 1437-1457 Ridge Road, the property currently occupied by the Hillview Cafe.
"It's property my family's owned since 1945," Reiter said. "I believe they'll be ready to get started soon now that the approvals have been given (Monday)."Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.