LOCKPORT - Relief is in sight for Lockport drivers tired of dodging potholes.
Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey announced at Wednesday’s Common Council meeting that a two-week pothole blitz will begin Monday, with all hands on deck from the Highways and Parks Department.
“We’re going to allocate all the streets guys to the blitz,” McCaffrey said.
That means three crews every day with hot-patch asphalt and pavement rollers to try to fill in what Mother Nature left behind: streets which the rugged winter left, in some cases, ruined.
McCaffrey said she and Engineering and Public Works Director Norman D. Allen drove the city and chose the worst streets with the heaviest traffic for the blitz.
That means parts of Lincoln Avenue, Willow, Locust, Pine, Main, Chestnut and South Transit streets and Davison Road.
“We have an agreement with New York State on Transit. We do all the typical maintenance,” the mayor said.
Other streets also will be repaired as time permits. McCaffrey said no overtime costs or supply expenditures beyond the city’s current budget are expected.
Several of the streets are on the city’s milling and repaving list for this summer. Alderman Patrick W. Schrader, D-4th Ward, called the blitz on those streetwwwws “a waste of money,” but McCaffrey said short-term action is needed “to get the roads functional.”
The paving and milling list tentatively includes Pine Street between Willow Street and Lincoln Avenue; Lincoln from South Transit Street to Berkley Drive; Locust Street between Lincoln and Willow; Washburn Street between Willow and High streets; East High Street in front of Emmet Belknap Intermediate School; Davison Road from East Avenue to Puritan Way; and Pine Street from Walnut Street to the bridge over the Erie Canal.
On another matter, the Council agreed to hire retired Niagara County Chief Accountant Mary E. Smith for up to 1,000 hours over the next 12 months.
The $40,000 contract makes Smith the de facto city accountant. Ruth E. Ohol, the chief accountant and city auditor, will keep the latter function.
Last week, the Bonadio Group, an Amherst accounting firm, recommended that the two roles be separated. Its report also noted the city is months behind in its financial record-keeping. Smith, hired under the auspices of her MES Consulting business, will work to clear that backlog, McCaffrey said.
The cost is being paid through the contingency fund in the city budget, and $30,000 of it is to be paid this year. The Council also gave Bonadio an $8,505 contract to audit dependents on city health insurance policies.
City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said the city wants to make sure people listed as spouses of city employees are still married and that children haven’t “aged out” of legal dependent status.
Attorney Brian D. Doyle, who was supposed to report on the Youth and Recreation Department credit card controversy Wednesday, postponed his appearance. McCaffrey said Doyle, who is being paid $200 an hour, will appear at 5 p.m. Tuesday for a work session with the Council.
The Council also accepted a $25,000 donation from the “Moore for Kids” Foundation to pay for an antigang program to be implemented by the Police Department with seventh grade students at North Park Middle School.