Salamanca DPW continues summer work as fall approaches

A crew from the Salamanca Department of Public Works works on clearing out a storm drain on Clinton Street near the Ray Evans Seneca Theater as part of the projects the department has been concentrating on this summer.

SALAMANCA — The Salamanca Department of Public Works (DPW) continues working across the city, finishing up several summer projects while also preparing for the fall.

At the DPW Commission meeting Aug. 14, Superintendent Rob Carpenter said the department has been busy patching the side streets, which is mostly complete except for a couple of spots that need to be touched up.

During the past couple weeks, crews have been out striping stop lines and crosswalks. Carpenter said they started with all the roads that meet the main streets first and will move off the arterials into the side streets next.

“I wanted to make sure all the school areas were done before school started,” he added.

Shortly before the DPW went out, the state DOT was on the main roads in the city also striping and relining crosswalks, the double yellow lines and dotted white lines.

“Originally that was supposed to be our expense, but the state got it,” Carpenter said. “That cut down on us. We got East State, West State and part of Wildwood done.”

New signage for the reduced speed limits and school zones in the city are expected to come in Aug. 27, Carpenter said. He said as soon as they get in, his priority is to install the school zone signs first, hoping to have them in before the first day of classes Sept. 3.

Also this summer, Carpenter said the DPW has been cleaning out as many storm drains as they can before fall, something the department hasn’t done in several years. His next project is to run the sewer jetter up the pipes to clean them out as well.

“I’m just trying to create the best flow for the drainage,” he said. “We can’t stop it all, but any little thing we can do helps alleviate flooding.”

Along with flooding prep, Carpenter said they’ve been rebuilding and repairing drains where bricks have fallen in, as well as ditching where flooding often occurs. He said one spot near Monroe Street and Cleveland Avenue that usually has bad flooding had no issues during a recent storm due to the ditch work they did there.

Other work the DPW has been doing this summer includes mowing and weed-eating, he said.

Looking to autumn and the leaves falling, Carpenter said the department is preparing the equipment for picking up leaves. He said they’re also working on the plows and sanders to get ready for the snow. “We do that all summer long,” he said.

Additionally, Carpenter said they would like to replace some sidewalk blocks before the weather turns, but it all depends on how well the other projects go in the meantime.

“I’d like to do at least half of the Highland playground this year,” he said.

Concerning the Highland Avenue Playground, the Common Council accepted a bid for $5,880 to install a fence along the north side of the playground to help protect the neighboring residents' properties.

Youth Bureau Director Sandi Brundage said Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation provided $5,000 in funds to the city as part of the demolition project of the house next to the playground on Great Valley Street.

“We thought we could use that check to put that fence in on that side,” Brundage said. “It would cost us $880 as a city to put in that 164 feet of fencing in with the privacy slats.”

There was originally an idea to put a vinyl fence it, but the council decided that could be damaged a lot more easily, especially during colder weather, as well as be easier to graffiti.

Also at the Highland playground, council member Sandy Magiera, D-Ward 4, and Brundage are working on a project to clean up and paint the three garbage cans there. They said they plan to organize groups of kids to help paint the cans and then put their own unique touch on them. Magiera said it would help the kids feel a sense of ownership and pride and be less likely to damage them.

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