Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 16, 2013

Town of Niagara officials after grant funds for Belden Center

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Those side streets are really suffering right now, according to some of the residents who addressed the board during the public comment session. Jody Parfinski said she temporarily lost control of her vehicle driving down one of the streets because it had broken apart down the middle and created a rut her tire drove over.

The situation is so bad, she said, town plows can't drop on the roads in the winter to remove snow because they pick up more pavement than snow.

Her husband, John Parfinski, said the problem stems from when the roads were first paved, if they even were to begin with. One road in the neighborhood is still dirt, a throwback to how they were designed for horse-and-buggy. And under the road is just as bad, with sewers collapsing and manhole covers coming loose as pavement shifts, he said. It almost cost him serious repairs to his own vehicle and could have hurt a child seriously.

"At this point now where you're going to kill a kid," he said of the problems. "The problem with Belden Center is it's a Band-Aid. We all know it is. There's little money there."

But Herman said relief for at least some of the area's road problems could be mere weeks away. He said he's seen the state of the roads and is in the process of securing a piece of equipment called a "Hot Box." He just needs the county to lend it to him, allowing his crew to more efficiently provide temporary patches to areas in dire need.

Part of his problem has been staff capable of performing road repair. Paving has been kept to a minimum due to a lack of qualified labor, with two to three roads repaved on average each year. Herman made moves to alleviate this issue, sending a crew to paving school to learn how to do it properly. With the changes, Herman said the town could complete 12 jobs by the end of the season.

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