two thousand twenty
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By John Addyman

LYONS (Sep 7 10) – Personal initiatives taken by two town supervisors generated a lot of discussion at the County Public Works Committee this morning, but neither supervisor walked away with quite what he was looking for.

Butler Supervisor Dave Spickerman, with data from County Highway Supervisor Kevin Rooney, had prepared a spreadsheet that ranked each town by how it cost to maintain its roads, per mile – from Macedon being the most expensive ($12,594) to Galen being the cheapest ($3,927).

Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino had, on his own initiative, decided that the county’s refurbished burn building that is used to train firefighters should be re-dedicated, and for that occasion, needed to be painted and have a sign erected. He had gotten quotes from a Newark painter, and from a sign-maker who happens to work in his office at Newark Electric.

Spickerman said his idea was to find out how much it costs per mile to maintain every road in the county, figuring that could lead to ideas for savings. County Administrator Jim Marquette argued that just adding up town costs and dividing by the miles of roads was not telling the whole story. The kind of traffic on a road and the volume of vehicles were different in each town.

Rooney added that the class of road also affects how much maintenance is done. He said 16 percent of Wayne County roads are federally fundable but have different building requirements. Highway superintendents around the county said the chart created was not an apples-to-apples comparison of real costs.

“This is a great beginning of a discussion but not the end of it,” said Marquette. “There’s a lot more wok that has to be done before conclusions can be drawn.”

One new aspect of road maintenance is the increasing number of horse-and-buggies on county roads as Amish families move in and establish farms in Lyons, Rose and Galen. Rooney said he has been putting up more “buggy” signs, warning people of the slow-moving vehicles.

Lyons Supervisor Brian Manktelow wanted to know if there were issues for highway maintenance because the buggies use steel wheels and leave horse plop on the roads. Rooney admitted the wheels do cut into roadways on hot days, and the shoes worn by horses also chip away at highway surfaces.

Manktelow asked rhetorically why the county would ask a dairy farmer to remove manure and mud from a road used by cows – but not ask the same of the Amish buggy-drivers.

Burn Building

As for the burn building, Building and Grounds Director David Sloane reported that the last doors and windows had been installed and he was waiting for an inspection and certificate of occupancy to again open up for firefighter training.

Colacino said other counties would be visiting the building and he felt it should be painted with a special paint, in time for a re-dedication in October with local dignitaries in attendance. He had contacted a Newark painter and got a price of $6,000 for the work, and spoke to a woman who worked at Newark Electric (where he is a project manager), who has a sign business, and got a quote of $551.

“How long will this paint last?” asked County Administrator Jim Marquette.

“Ten years,” said Colacino.

Admitting “the building isn’t exactly a charmer,” Marquette said he wondered about the sense of painting a building that will have fires in it regularly. “I wonder what it would look like six months after you paint it?”

“I can see a sign…but painting the building?” wondered Spickerman.

When Colacino pushed for a vote on spending the money and awarding the jobs to the people he had named, Committee Chair Steve LeRoy (Sodus) cautioned that, “This is something that should have been talked about long ago.”

“I know the right people to get the job done right…and we’ll all be proud of it,” said Colacino. “Government should be done by example.”

Manktelow told Colacino plainly: “This looks like a conflict of interest.”

Palmyra Supervisor Ken Miller agreed with Colacino that the building needed to be painted, “but this is much too fast. Let’s do it in the spring and do it the right way.”

Colacino objected, saying he had done a lot of coordination already and the sign designer had also done a lot of work. He again pushed for a vote.

“I also agree this needs to be done,” LeRoy told Colacino, “but I’m concerned about the process. You picked out the painter. You picked out the sign-maker. I think we should have allowed others to participate.”

Colacino than said the project was simple, he had chosen good people who could meet a close deadline, and it was within state law to do it this way.

Spickerman advised Colacino that “it’s not the supervisor’s job to do this. It’s just not right. Supervisors shouldn’t be going out making deals. I don’t care who they are.”

Colacino then criticized the county for not holding the Leo J. Roth Co. of Rochester to its low bid for putting a roof on the Pearl Street building. The Roth bid was $60,000 less than the second bidder, Elmer W. Davis.

He said he “didn’t like the excuse” the Roth company gave for backing out of the project – which was allowed by County Attorney Dan Wyner. “I’ve bid thousands of projects,” Colacino said. “If I made a mistake in bidding, I’d eat it.” The county also returned the bid bond, which Colacino termed as “wrong.”

LeRoy called for a vote on Colacino’s motion to award the painting and sign projects: it was defeated, 4-1.


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