Road work tops the agenda for Andes Town Board
By Cheryl Petersen
The Town of Andes 1978 Caterpillar grader is shot. Highway Superintendent Mike McAdams reported that the road grader is not worth repairing. The town council considered this and other business at the July 8 evening meeting at town hall.
Between normal road upkeep and road damage caused by flooding, the lack of a grader adds pressure to the highway crew. The superintendent has been working on weekends using the 1989 John Deere grader to try to match the road demands.
Flood work has been accomplished on Dingle Hill Road, Little Dingle Hill, Felton Road, Bushkill Road, and Firmont Road. “We have been keeping records of all work in case we can receive future funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” reported Mike McAdams. “We have also been obtaining all the required permits for stream work from the Department of Environmental Conservation.”
A rented excavator has been a major asset in helping with the flood repair work which involved filling in washouts and ditches, rebuilding a stone retaining wall, replacing pipes, and adding gravel where needed.
A statement came from a resident of Andes concerning Felton Road, saying “I’ve written letters to the superintendent for years about ditching the steep hill on Felton Road but nothing was done and I feel much of the damage done after the last flooding could have been avoided.”
Supervisor, Marty Donnelly, explained that the highway crew has to answer to the whole town and finishes projects according to agencies stipulations, which can sometimes be limited. A case in point was replacing culverts. “FEMA will only pay for a 10-inch culvert if that is in the plan.”
In the past however, the town replaced pipes using oversized pipes and they are proving useful. Flooding damage was kept to a minimum in areas where the oversized pipes were installed. FEMA is beginning to recognize the benefit of oversized pipes.
On a different subject, the highway crew will be building a small fence around the outlet that brings water under Cabin Hill by the railroad.
As for correspondence, notice was received by the town that their equalization rate is staying at 100 percent. Also, the town is being funded $332 for youth employment. And, the insurance company settled on the replaced truck. “The town will buy back the old truck and use it for parts,” said Donnelly.
Council, Tom Joyce reported on the Andes pool. “After a frustrating start, the pool should be ready to open on the July 11and 12 weekend,” said Joyce.
The 50-year old pool mechanics gave the pool workers a fit. Just before the July 4 weekend, a large pipe bust causing the filter system to be down for over four days. It took more than a day to replace the pipe. Then the filter got cranky.
“Many of us worked on the problem for hours and hours,” said Joyce. “Rachel Andrews and JoAnn Perry were there the whole time. John Andrews, Bud Gladstone, and others worked together to get that old filter cleaned out. We shoveled the old dirt out and put in new. Rachel had to make multiple trips to Oneonta to get the water tested. The correct chemicals have been applied and the water is clearing up.”
Supervisor Donnelly read a letter written by himself, saying, “The town received a few very angry calls because the pool wasn’t opened when promised. We make no apologies because no one is at fault. The town gives the pool serious attention and works hard to get and keep lifeguards. We will not open the pool until confirmed the water is safe for swimming. The shut-down was unfortunate but safety comes first.”
A resolution was passed to reimburse John Andrews for his immense contribution to getting the pool ready. Correspondence from New York State Energy Research and Development Agency confirmed their willingness to work with the Town of Andes on a solar energy project, funded by a grant. Approval was given by the board to install surge protection on equipment and control panels at the water districts.