Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 23, 2013

Lewiston Road contractor faces fines


Niagara Gazette — Accadia has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, meet with OSHA’s area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

OSHA's findings follow claims made in recent weeks by the city's former engineer, Jeffrey Skurka, who maintained following his dismissal last month by Mayor Paul Dyster's administration that proper safety rules were not being followed by the contractor on the work site. Skurka, who was terminated as engineer in a letter from Dyster's administration in April, expressed particular concern about ditches that did not have protective systems to ensure the integrity of the walls.

Skurka took medical leave before his dismissal, citing what he described as several encounters with the city’s contractors on the Lewiston Road and Buffalo Avenue road projects, Accadia Site Contracting Inc. and CATCO Construction Co. respectively. Skurka told the Gazette following his dismissal that he tangled with representatives from both companies over work conditions on the projects. He said he also had issues with the city’s engineering consultant, Wendel Duchscherer.

Representatives from Wendel Duchscherer did not respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.

Skurka has said he feels as though he was terminated due to the safety expectations he placed on the city's contractors and its consultant. He also has said he is considering legal action against the city and has been in contact with an attorney.

Skurka could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Reached by telephone, Dyster said Skurka was not terminated because he raised concerns about safety on Lewiston Road.

"That's just not true," Dyster said.

The mayor would not talk about the reasons that Skurka was let go, saying it is against city policy to publicly comment on personnel matters.

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