Slow Repaving This Season Due To City Outsourcing

There is a reason why some city streets are stripped down to the bare basics and then wait for repaving — it saves the city money.

During Monday’s City Council Public Works Committee meeting, Jeff Lehman, city public works director, recommended the city piggyback on Cattaraugus County’s bid for milling services. Committee members recommended to the full council to hire Donagle Milling of Greensburg, Pa., for asphalt milling at a cost of $4,450 a day for the equipment and crew to mill streets as part of the city’s 2017 street reconstruction program.

Outsourcing the work saves the city the cost of buying an asphalt milling machine, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The other side of the coin, however, is that the city doesn’t want to pay Donagle any more money than it needs to, so the city tries to compress the work into as short a period of time as possible. That means some roads will be milled and wait a few weeks or a month until they are repaved.

Committee members also recommended approving a contract with Otis Elevators of Buffalo to maintain the city’s two elevators in city hall and one elevator each in the Spring Street and Cherry Street parking ramps. The agreement would cost $11,328 a year for three years.

“They’ve been good to work with in the past,” Lehman said. “They’re really responsive. Obviously, when you have a problem everyone wants the elevator fixed quickly.”

Finally, there were some questions from council members — both during the committee meeting and during the full council work session — about the street reconstruction schedule released by Mayor Sam Teresi in The Sunday Post-Journal. Brent Sheldon, R-Ward 1, asked about a project on Curtis Street that was listed as a mill and overlay project. Lehman told Sheldon the project will retain the brick surface on Curtis Street as part of the project.

Vickeye James, D-Ward 3, asked how projects are included in the yearly list, particularly asking about 10th Street between Washington to Main streets. Lehman told James the schedule is based on the condition of streets, the budget for each year and how much work crews can get done during the construction season.

“Obviously, there are more streets that could be done this year,” Lehman said. “It’s all about money and time.”