SALAMANCA — In its first meeting of the new year, the Board of Public Works approved a resolution increasing the charge to use the city’s fuel from 5 cents to 7½ cents per gallon.

Since the Department of Public Works will perform roughly $17,000 in repairs and upgrades to the fuel tanks, as approved at the December meeting, board member Janet Koch suggested increasing the charge price to outside entities to get fuel from the city.

City comptroller Kathi Sarver said the city makes about $200 a month from the Salamanca City Central School District, who uses the DPW tank to fill their vehicles. She said the charge hasn’t been increased in the past five years.

Koch said because the four city departments who use the pump most will be paying about $4,200 each to help fix and upgrade the tank, other entities who use the pump such as the Salamanca Housing Authority should also pay the 7½ cents charge. The rest of the board agreed.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, DPW Superintendent Rob Carpenter said his crews have been doing ditch work, taking care of some drainage issues and getting a head start picking up sod since there hasn’t been as much snow this season.

“We’re going to be cutting some subways on Central Avenue,” he added. “We started it last year but it started snowing. We’re going to work on shaving some more of the subways.”

Once they get done with Central, Carpenter said he’d like to continue cutting subways around the city because there are a lot that have built up and hold the water on the sidewalks.

Carpenter said he received an email from the state DOT informing him they’re going to be closing down one of the parking lanes near the Titus Creek culvert on Broad Street.

“When we originally talked about redoing Clinton and Broad Street, they wanted to redo the road and then come back the following year and redo the culvert,” he explained. “I said why don’t we do the culvert before we do the road so you don’t have to cut up the new road, so I’m hoping that’s what this is for.”

Carpenter also voiced concern about parking on Race Street near Main Street, which has a 20-minute parking only sign and no parking from 2 to 6 a.m., which is for the snowplow to clear the street out in the morning.

“We’re continuously having problems with cars parked there all night long,” he explained. “It makes it difficult for us to get our plow trucks in there and get these roads cleared out when you have somebody park in the same place.”

Mayor Sandra Magiera said there are two vehicles that park there constantly and it makes it difficult for Meals on Wheels volunteers to load meals from the senior center’s Race Street door.

A new truck was expected to arrive this week but may be delayed, Carpenter said. This is a new salt spreader system that his crew has never used before, so someone from the company they purchased it from will come train them on how to use it, he said.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)

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