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LOCKPORT – The Town Board voted Wednesday to create a Department of Operations, whose director will be in charge of overseeing all town-owned buildings and land except the highway garage.

The unanimous vote cleared the way for the upcoming hiring of the director, whose salary is expected to be between $50,000 and $60,000 a year.

The appointed director of operations will not usurp the authority of the elected highway superintendent, David J. Miller, but will be responsible for management of the town parks, water and sewer systems, street lighting and all other equipment. The director also will have authority to hire and fire employees in those areas.

“With the growth of the town and the establishment of parks, an increase in the number of buildings and some pending retirements, the Town Board felt it was time to establish this department,” Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman said. “It’s something that is long overdue for the town.”

The town has three water districts, three sewer districts, a lighting district, three parks and six buildings.

Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said the expected retirements include that of Ken Banker, the highest-ranking water employee.

Work on town facilities was the main theme at the board’s work session Monday, when it awarded a $33,500 contract to Sicoli Construction of Niagara Falls for security improvements at Town Hall.

Councilman Paul W. Siejak said the contract will include upgrades to doors and windows.

The board also received three bids for improving the facade of the former Carpenters Union Hall on Dysinger Road, which the town purchased in 2011 for $250,000, planning to use it for more office space.

R.B. Mac Construction of Lockport was the apparent low bidder at $62,005. The board may act on that contract as soon as its Feb. 20 work session.

Also, Town Engineer Robert D. Klavoon said the town may need to come up with about $255,000 to rehabilitate the sewer pump station in the Lincoln Village subdivision. It needs new pumps and an emergency generator, he said.

“That pump station hasn’t been touched for 20 years,” he said.

He is prepared to seek bids, but the funding source is still undetermined. There are fund balances in the town’s sewer accounts, but borrowing also is a possibility.

Klavoon said this year’s work agenda also includes flushing sewer lines and using a remote-control TV camera to check for leaks in the Lincoln Village and Carlisle Gardens sewers.

That work in Lincoln Village will cost an estimated $20,000 for 4,500 feet of 8- and 12-inch pipe, he said.

The Carlisle Gardens work will cost an estimated $41,000 for as much as 8,500 feet of pipe. That subdivision’s sewers come in 8-, 10-, 12-, 15- and 18-inch diameters.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com