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Rosas, city council address paving projects

Dunkirk Mayor Wilfred Rosas announced the streets set for work in the city Department of Public Works’ latest round of paving.

Bucknor, Plover, South Jerboa, Gazelle, Robin, Deer streets and Gratiot Court will get resurfaced, Rosas said at this week’s Common Council meeting.

DPW Director Randy Woodbury said, “We met with the contractor, Lakeshore Paving, same company that did the work last year. We did $1.2 million of paving last year. This year the CHIPS (Consolidated Highway Improvment System funding from the state) budget is about a third of a million, but we can still get a lot of bang for the buck. We prioritized, with the mayor’s help, the streets with the most dire need. We have seven, as the mayor listed, and that will come out to exactly a third of a million dollars.”

Work will start next week, Woodbury continued, holding up a contract signed by himself, Rosas and Lakeshore Paving.

“Most of the roads get milled and paved and a couple of the roads just get the overlay because they have a substantial base already,” he added. “We’ve had good luck with this contractor. We have a nice balance of dire streets, and it’s also balanced out throughout the city, too. Each ward is treated about equally.”

Later on in Tuesday’s meeting, Common Council member Nancy Nichols asked Woodbury if Sixth Street could be added to the list. Recent water and gas line work in the area, by both the city and the Dunkirk school district, has led to a rough roadway in spots.

“I can take a look at that later on,” Woodbury responded. “We want to get these done and see if we can do these under budget and talk to the mayor about that.

Right now we can get through with these, we have to work within the budget we have.”

Nichols asked Woodbury to explain that the paving funding comes from Albany. “It’s a state grant, we get it every year,” he said. “In prior years, the mayor’s been able to bump it up a bit because we’re a hardship community. This year, we’re locked into our normal allocation, so we have to schedule the most dire streets.”

Speaking about Sixth Street, he added, “I agree that that street probably should be looked at sometime, but we can get by another year and do it next year.”

Woodbury said it is ultimately Rosas’ call on which streets gets paved.

Council member Martin Bamonto wondered if “we could go after the contractors” over damaging Sixth Street. “That contract is not closed out so that’s an excellent idea and we’ll make sure everything’s cleaned up,” Woodbury said.

“We’ve had parents calling us that are going to the high school and with all the work that was done, they want to know why (the contractors) are not held responsible because it was a lot of their heavy equipment that utilized that road and whole area there,” Nichols said.

Woodbury said the city’s work in the area greatly improved water pressure and fire hydrant flows, and got paid for with grants. “There was a big benefit to it,” he said.

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