Government cooperation proves to be successful for residents
Community leaders including North Tonawanda Mayor Ortt and Niagara-Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe have come together in the efforts of alleviating the headache that flooding has caused for hundreds of residents who reside in both the Wheatfield and North Tonawanda. After the officials teamed up, they sought the help of Niagara County Refuse Disposal District Director Richard Pope and New York State Senator George Maziarz in order to see what needed to be done to find a solution for the flooding.
“This has been going on for about 20 years now,” said Ortt, “This project just needed the right leaders in the right positions at the right time. So we put all four levels of government together and were able to come up with a solution.”
The flooding in the Town of Wheatfield has become quite a problem due to too much water filling up the Wilrose Lake/Krueger Road area. With little room for the water to flow elsewhere, it became stagnant in residents backyards.
With high concern of health issues such as West Nile Virus, a decrease in property value and the quality of life these residents were forced to live, community officials began to cooperate with one another and utilize resources that have been in place locally since the 1980s.
The initially problem that caused the flooding was created as a result of Wheatfield’s Southern Drainage system that ultimately came to a halt, because the source of piping used by Wheatfield to filter out the water, was too small to filter out excess of water. Specifically, a 30 inch pipe.
North Tonawanda has two 102 inch pipes located at the foot of Witmer Road, near River Road. With the upcoming completion of the Phase Three of the Northwest Storm Sewer Project expected to finalize within one to two weeks, the Souther Drainage System will now open into North Tonawandas out fall.
This will complete the portion of Wheatfield’s construction, which included the creation of new drainage channels, which are approximately 24-feet-wide and 15-feet-deep.
Grant monies were secured for this project at the local level of government, while last year Niagara County committed to contributing up to $50,000 per year for five years toward the Northwest Storm Sewer Project.
After the completion of Phase Three of the North West Storm Sewer Drainage Project, North Tonawanda will their portion of construction, during which they will connect their current drainage channels to Wheatfield’s channels and ultimately alleviate the drainage problems in both Wheatfield and North Tonawanda by having all channels head in the direction of the 102 inch pipes located at the outfall of the sewers.
North Tonawanda Alderman Russ Rizzo has spent many years working toward getting this project started and completed in a timely manner both on the county and city levels of government. His work in pushing to make this happen, along with Senator George Maziarz was a large portion putting things into action.
Cliffe, Maziarz, Ortt and Pope all noted this is large improvement for the residents and the joint effort from different levels of government has truly been a success.