Snow plow controvery creating messy roads

Posted at 12:23 PM, Dec 11, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-06 12:23:25-05

A snow plowing controversy made county roads in the Town of Boston dangerous Thursday morning during the commute.

Town Supervisor Martin Ballowe says buses were getting stuck and couldn’t get kids to school.

The county used to plow those roads until a few months ago, when the town terminated a three-year contract claiming the county overcharged the town by just under $5,000 for equipment used to clear steep roads like Omphalius Road off of Boston Town Road.

Ballowe says the town did the work, not the county, and the county failed to reimburse the town. With winter just beginning, he is nervous.

But County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he’s never even spoken to Ballowe about the controversy. Poloncarz says if Ballowe wanted to resolve the issue, he would have contacted him.

The County Executive says the town did not do the work, so the county did not pay the town last January. That led the town to cancel the contract.

Ballowe claims he did invite Poloncarz to a meeting and the County Executive did not come.

Poloncarz said he never received a phone call or an invitation.

Ballowe says the county roads that run through the Boston Hills are not plowed, and causing problems for residents and motorists. Thursday morning he told the Erie County Legislature there were buses in ditches, causing problems for students getting to school.

"It's not a political issue," said Ballowe. "It's not Democrat, Republican or whatever issue. It's a safety issue."

Poloncarz says the roads in Boston are getting plowed. He says crews in Eden have taken on extra work to take care of Boston.

"Eden is doing more work," said Poloncarz. "Collins and Concord are doing more work, and they're getting paid more for it."

Ballowe says he's willing to come up with a resolution to this problem, before winter officially strikes.

"I would be more than willing to sit down with the county and re-negotiate a contract upon them fulfilling the other contract with the town."

Poloncarz says the county plows are now spending more time in Eden, North Collins and Concord because the contract with the Town of Boston was cut.

The County Executive says drivers are working around the clock to clear the roads and that all plows were out overnight. Each plow route takes around two-and-a-half-hours to complete, so by the time it’s ending, there is already snow back on the roads.

Poloncarz reminds drivers to exercise caution and take things slow.