LITTLE VALLEY — Cattaraugus County lawmakers are considering a possible consolidation of the Franklinville and Allegany Public Works highway barns.

The Franklinville highway barn on Route 16 was extensively damaged by a fire on Oct. 31; the fire destroyed one truck and damaged another.

County Public Works officials are awaiting a settlement with the insurance company before deciding whether to repair the garage, replace it or consolidate with another barn.

The 10-bay highway garage at Franklinville is among the largest of six in the county and its personnel cover about 100 miles, about a quarter of the total number of miles of county roads.

“We’re waiting on the insurance before deciding what we want to do,” Public Works Committee Chairman Vergilio “Dick” Giardini, D-Allegany, said.

The committee asked Public Works officials to provide more information, including “possible consolidation of the Franklinville and Allegany garages.”

The county located a temporary trailer behind the Franklinville highway garage and built electrical connections to connect diesel trucks to engine warmers as they sat outside over the winter. A temporary fuel distribution system was also assembled.

“Our status has not changed,” Public Works Commissioner Kathleen Ellis said. “We’re still waiting for the insurance company to work with our insurance adjuster.”

Public Works members asked Mark Burr, director of engineering, to do some more research regarding possible consolidation.

“They are looking for more information so they can be informed and make a good decision,” Ellis said.

Burr said a consolidation study was done in 2005 with between two and five highway barns. “We’re dusting it off and looking at a couple of options,” he added. At the time, he said, there wasn’t enough savings in the consolidation.

Another long-standing issue, reconstruction of Lover’s Lane Road (County Road 76), from Route 353 to County Road 12 in the own of New Albion, inched closer to reality with appropriation of $50,000 by the Public Works and Finance committees.

Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, obtained funding for the design and reconstruction of the road. The county will be authorized to expend the funds necessary for the project and be reimbursed 100 percent under the New York State Multi-Modal 4 Program, Ellis said.

There were no immediate estimates on the cost of reconstructing the roadway, where reduced speed signs were erected after slides created an uneven road surface.

IN OTHER ACTION, committees approved:

  • A grant of $14,770 to the city of Olean for the Olean Area Transportation Service (O.A.T.S.) for bus transportation.
  • Contracts with the city and town of Olean, city of Salamanca and towns of Allegany, Carrollton, Great Valley, Hinsdale and Portville for the county mosquito spraying program.
  • A loan of $38,000 to Billings Sheet Metal Inc., Olean, to purchase machinery and equipment. The funds came from a casino fund for economic development.

(Contact reporter Rick Miller at rmiller@oleantimesherald.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)