Village seeking a grant: Funding would pay for canal wall work

T he village is exploring a possible source of funding that could provide funds to help pay for repairs along the wall abutting the canal on North Williams Street, Mayor Peter Telisky said during last weeks board of trustees meeting.  

Telisky said he submitted the preliminary engineering report to Bob Murray from Environmental Facilities Corporation who is expected to file an application for a matching grant later this month.

Telisky said representatives from GeoDesigns, the engineering firm that took bore samples from the area behind the wall, alerted him to the possibility of grants and he took it upon himself to submit the report.

A completed application for the grant is required by Oct. 29.

The wall has been a source of concern over the last few months because the ground behind the wall has been eroding, comprising its structural integrity.

A section of sidewalk above the wall has been closed for several months and is marked with yellow caution tape.

Trustee Ken Bartholomew has said on numerous occasions it’s not a matter of, “if the wall will fall, but when.”

Officials contend the wall isn’t in immediate danger of collapsing but that it was important to remain proactive before the problem worsened, especially after the area has suffered not one, but two flooding events in the past six months.

 In August, GeoDesigns was hired to take a bore sample from the ground behind the wall to determine the extent of erosion and what the substrata consists of.

The sample revealed that the bedrock was actually higher than expected, a good thing, officials said.

Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of room in the current budget to pay for the repairs.

Officials plan to examine areas where they may be able to save money for the project when they begin their next budgeting cycle, but an additional source of funding, like the matching grant, would help.

During the meeting, the board also heard from local resident Dave Waters who asked the board to look into work the village had completed that resulted in the sewer connection being cut off from a residence he owns on Potter Street.

He said had to replumb the residence because the village changed the flow of direction when it put laterals in several years ago.

Superintendent of Public Works Don Williams and trustee Bartholomew, who have spoke with Waters on the matter in the past, backed up Water’s assertion.

Waters said he had addressed the matter with the two previous boards but had yet to receive a response.

Telisky said the board would look into the matter and if the village was responsible for the problem, they would work to rectify the situation.

Williams also said damage done to the sidewalk in front of the home would be fixed in the next couple weeks.

In other matters, the board pledged to examine a clause in their police contract that they believe is discouraging qualified candidates from applying for and accepting jobs with the department.

Officials said there appears to be a clause in the contract that doesn’t allow experience accrued at other departments to be factored in when determining pay.

Essentially a new employee would start would receive less compensation than they may elsewhere with the same experience.

Telisky said the department had a candidate recently decline a position because it would have resulted in a pay cut of several dollars because his experience wasn’t being factored in.

Telisky said the board will examine the contract and are in the initial stages of examining the pay scale of other village employees to see how it fares to other municipalities. If there is a large difference in pay, the board made consider making changes if it would result in more qualified candidates applying for village jobs.

In other police matters, Chief Matt Dickinson told the board that new cameras, computers and cages had been installed in the department’s new cruisers and they had received a letter of recognition from the NYS Domestic Violence program for changing the color of the shield on their website to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month.

 

 

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