City streets a tough cookie

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Dunkirk Department of Public Works Director Randy Woodbury helps himself to cookies baked by Councilwoman Nancy Nichols, right, for last week’s DPW Committee meeting.

The cookies were crumbly at Dunkirk City Hall last week — and so are many of the city’s streets.

After everyone helped themselves to Councilwoman Nancy Nichols’ chocolate chip cookies at the start of a Department of Public Works meeting, discussion quickly turned to the rough condition of several city streets.

DPW Director Randy Woodbury said he has a “good list” of streets to address in the First, Second and Third Wards, but doesn’t want to finalize the Fourth Ward list until a drainage issue is addressed on Tenney Street.

“Some of these roads are really bad,” he acknowledged, specifically noting Ounce and Otter streets. He added Park Avenue should probably get repaved; a recent water line issue led to the street getting torn up near Washington Park.

“We’ve got a few streets that we’ve talked about,” said City Engineer Andy Bohn. He said Public Works Supervisor Tim Gotowka and Deputy DPW Director Mike Przybycien were also coming up with their own suggestions for roadwork.

Nichols commented that DPW could use six or seven more workers. Woodbury said soon after, “We’re going to do a lot of stuff in-house where we can but it takes flesh and bones as well as parts.”

Gotowka said main streets are usually worked on first, then side and secondary streets — “unless we get a call and it’s a bad issue,” then it will be addressed more quickly.

Speaking about potholes, Woodbury said, “We’re behind — but we’ll catch up.” He blamed delays in pothole repairs on a late spring reopening by the city’s asphalt plant, as well as the manpower issue.


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