OLEAN – Mayor William Aiello says the city’s streets have a lot of needs following the hard winter.
But the streets that need the most attention are the nine miles of streets in the city that are unimproved roads. Those roads are dirt that have been tarred and chipped several times.
“These streets are in terrible shape,” Aiello said. “I have to be honest. I did not know we had that many miles of unimproved streets in the city. Those are the places we need to direct our attention.”
Department of Public Works crews and contractors that will be out helping out this summer will be working on Crown and Gulf streets, West Fall Road and Paragon Avenue.
To be able to do all of the road work that needs to be done, including filling potholes, Aiello said $150,000 will be transferred from the current contingency fund.
In addition, $35,000 will be directed from the contingency fund to replace rooftop heaters on the William O. Smith Recreation Center.
Another $50,000 will go into the account to help with the pedestrian crossing that will tie the recreation center together with the western part of the city. The plan is to renovate a passive railroad trestle that crosses Olean Creek into a safe crossing.
Another $50,000 will be set aside for sidewalks and curbs, and $25,000 has been set aside for a yet-to-be-planned revaluation of property in the city.
The transfers will empty out the contingency fund.
Aiello said he and Public Works Director Tom Windus also have talked about a plan to fix the remaining brick streets in the city. Windus and his department will be able to set aside 10 percent of the annual department budget, about $40,000 for 2014-2015, to repair the streets, allowing them to remain brick where possible, in an effort to preserve the historic section of the city.
Work on the city’s potholes is continuing. Other street work will be done as contractors are put in place.
The shifting of priorities has delayed the restriping of West State Street as well. The plan, as approved by the City Council, would add bike lanes to the street, condensing it to a single travel lane in each direction and a central turning lane. It is not known when the work will be done.