by Dave Warner

Resolution #16, a bond resolution to fund the DASNY Grant Project #9026 was the center of discussion on Tuesday night. City Engineer Chester P. Szymanski III took to the podium to provide an overview of the project.

Szymanski stated “The City received $470,000 through a DASNY grant in August of last year. That money has been earmarked for drainage improvements.”

The City Engineer, Mayor Blask, and John Sullivan from DPW have worked together to identify the principle projects that should be addressed with this grant money.

Four locations were identified as most critical. “Right above the paper mill on the west end of town, there’s a raceway that comes down from the hill. It’s made of stone and mortar and the inlet to that raceway has washed out a couple of times. Improvement there is to construct a retaining wall to replace the Jersey barriers that are there now. It will also repair the stone and mortar that has come loose,” stated Szymanski.

Cost for that project has not been finalized as they are still waiting on survey data.

At Smith Creek, Szymanski said “It’s also replacement of stone and mortar and an expansion of the headwall to help capture the water as it’s coming down towards Smith Street to prevent overflows there.”

“The installation of a headwall instead of the Jersey barriers lessens the (long term) maintenance for the City,” stated Szyimanski. “There’s still going to be maintenance as the water carries a lot of gravel with it and all that gravel is captured in deep sedimentation basins similar to a septic tank. All that can be done is to capture that gravel during the big storms and when they are over, DPW will come in and maintain it by removing that sediment.”

The third project discussed was on the east end of Diamond Street. Four hundred feet back from the intersection of Jackson Street, the roadway is subsiding, as well as the retaining wall which holds the roadway. “It’s starting to tip out from the road. It’s essentially due to poor drainage. As the retaining wall is tipping out, Diamond Street is subsiding,” Szymanski said.

There is no storm drainage there and water has to run down to Monroe Street before there is a catch basin. Szymanski stated “This project would repair the retaining wall, install storm drainage on the lower end side of Diamond Street all the way down and tie into the catch basins near Jackson and Monroe Street.”

Re-pavement of that section of the street after construction will also be included.

“Danube Street is the last project that we have. It is a similar situation to Diamond Street. Right before the spring coming out of Fall Hill, you’ll notice that the guide rail that is along the side of the street has tipped away from the road and the road is actually making its way down the bank slowly,” Szymanski said.

“This project is a bank stabilization project. Install some proper storm drainage and put a new guide rail in,” he said.

Resolution #16 passed unanimously.

In comments from the floor, Mr. Bill Bennett extolled the services that the DPW had done on keeping the streets clean and removing the trash and recyclables. He said “I feel safe in our house with the police and fire that we have.” He also praised the city hall staff.

Resolution #14 calling for a public hearing for Local Law #1 Cold War Veterans Exemption was approved by the council. The hearing will be held at 6 pm, February 12, 2019 in the common council chambers. According to Mayor Blask “the exemption expires on March 1, 2019 and there are local veterans who use this property tax exemption. These are service members who have served between 1945 and 1991. There are a handful of them in the city and they rely on this property tax exemption.”

Resolution #14 passed unanimously.

Resolution #15 Agreement between the City of Little Falls and the New York State Unified Court System.┬áCity Attorney Jennifer Chrisman explained the resolution “The City is required to maintain the court facility downstairs via the previous agreement that was five years in length. This allows the mayor to sign the new agreement, which we are required to do by law.”

Resolution #15 passed unanimously.

In the final comments from the Mayor, he mentioned that he had had conversations with the Mayor of Ilion about their water crisis and had offered help from the City of Little Falls if they needed it. “They’re really going through a rough spell,” said Mayor Blask.

According to the Mayor, the Parking Ban will be coming off on Thursday. “We try to take it off when it makes sense to. When there’s snow, we need to leave it on for snow removal. Hopefully, we can leave it off for the foreseeable future.”