By Jessica Bagley
The Tonawanda News
Tonawanda News — TOWN OF TONAWANDA — The town board approved a $16 million bond resolution for Phase III of the ongoing Parker-Fries sewer project at their regular meeting Monday night.
Director of Water Resources Ken Maving gave a presentation on the latest phase of the ongoing multi-million dollar project Monday before the public hearing, and detailed where the construction will take place.
“We had to start this process to receive the low interest funding and begin the project in 2013,” Maving said.
The phase is set to begin Nov. 1 and will continue the four-phase project mandated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation on the improvement of the sewer lines, allowing the town to take away more water in wet weather conditions, preventing basement flooding.
Work will take place south of Sheridan Drive on Chelsea Street, Woodland Drive, Highland Parkway and Lincoln Park Drive.
He also outlined the project’s schedule. Bids are set to go out in August, and the project will be awarded to a contractor in September before construction begins by Nov. 1. The project is set to be complete in 2015, but that timeline depends on the contractor’s work.
“We are two for two with contractors so far,” Maving said. “We’ve been very happy with both and we hope to continue that.”
A public meeting on Phase III will be held to inform residents in affected areas before construction begins.
Contractors for the present phase, Concrete Applied Technologies of Alden, will take a winter break from the project starting at the end of the week. They’ll return to work March 4 and will complete work on a sewer line on Brighton Road that will run from Parker to Parkhurst boulevards.
“The intersection of Brighton and Fries will be closed for a few days that week,” Maving said. “We’ll coordinate with the school district on the rerouting of buses again.”
Workers will also finish restoration on the roads they worked on, as well as pave them with permanent material.
The present work remains ahead of schedule, and although Maving originally expected to it be complete in November, contractors will likely finish up work in July.
Phase II will cost the town $3.63 million and began in August. CATCO workers were worried they would hit rock in the ground when they began to dig, which would have greatly impeded construction.
But they’ve only hit soil that’s very amenable to the project — causing construction to go much quicker.
In other council news, representatives from the Federation of European Risk Management Association attended the board’s work session Monday to report on their progress with controlling the town’s workers’ compensation costs.
Annual claim payments have been reduced from $1.4 million since the town began a contract with FERMA in 2010, to under one $1 million in 2012.
FERMA took on the town’s open cases for a one time fee, and have reduced the number of open cases from 2,500 to 50.
The town has also instituted a FERMA safety program in hopes to reduce the number of incidents in the future.
But now the town board needs to make a determination on what the cost benefit of the agreement with FERMA is and whether they will continue the contract with the group.Contact reporter Jessica Bagley at 693-1000, ext. 4150