Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

December 20, 2012

Discussion to continue on zoning change

BY JOE OLENICK
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There will be more talk concerning a Lockport town zoning code change involving LaFarge’s stone pit expansion.

Town Board members were considering the creation of a section in the town zoning ordinance that would allow Lafarge to move the border of its existing stone pit 162 feet closer to the north side of Hinman Road. The quarry now ends 300 feet from the road. 

Action was delayed following a public hearing earlier this month during which a number of town residents shared concerns.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith asked the board for approval of the change Wednesday, but Councilman Mark C. Crocker and Councilwoman Cheryl A. Antkowiak said they would like to hear from a LaFarge representative about the company’s plans. 

“How does it affect those nearby?” Crocker said.

Smith said there will be more discussion with LaFarge and more public input. One of the issues raised at the hearing was residents weren’t aware of the details of the zoning change. The town will tackle that issue, as from now on with such cases, residents will receive a mailing for hearings in the future. They will contain detailed information, the supervisor said.

“We want to get that information in the hands of the residents,” he said.

In other town news, Crocker will be named deputy supervisor for 2013, Smith announced Wednesday. Councilman Paul W. Siejak, who served in the position for 2012, thanked the board and Smith for the appointment.

“I learned a lot,” he said.

• A new five-year contract that will see CSEA members begin to pay a portion of their health insurance premiums was approved Wednesday by the Town Board.

The deal was ratified Monday by the town’s 18 Civil Service Employees Association workers. It includes five years of pay increases, starting with 3 percent this year, retroactive to Jan. 1; 3 percent in 2013; 2.5 percent in 2014; and 2 percent a year in 2015 and 2016.

Siejak said the workers won’t begin to pay a share of health premiums until 2015, which then will be 2.5 percent. In 2016, that goes up to 5 percent.

A tentative deal was reached in August, which included a 3 percent share of the health insurance costs for workers this year, 5 percent in 2013 and 10 percent each year after that. But CSEA members voted that proposal down.

CSEA members hired since 2004 are paying 15 percent of their health premiums, that will not change under the new deal.

• Smith said the state department of transportation will install sidewalks on Robinson Road, from Centre Street to the Transit Road corridor. The DOT project goes out to bid in July with work expected to start in the fall.

DOT officials are asking the town to purchase a pedestrian bridge on Robinson over Donner Creek. The bridge would cover the portion of the creek that runs behind a Niagara County pumping station at the corner of Robinson and Transit.

Town Engineer Robert Klavoon said the steel bridge would be 10 feet wide and 50 feet in length. The cost would be around $43,000 and would likely come from the undesignated surplus fund, Smith said.

The DOT installed sidewalks in 2011, as well as other safety features, to address concerns on Robinson Road, which becomes Dysinger at the Beattie Avenue intersection. 

• Town Board members approved a $112,999 contract with Mark Cerrone, Inc. of Niagara Falls for utility repair work. Smith said the firm would handle any emergency repair to water line breaks.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick

at 439-9222, ext. 6241.