TOWN OF LEE — A new speed-limit reduction on a portion of Gore Road, and approval of an approximately $140,000 paving contract for two other roads, were among Town Board topics Tuesday night.
The board also debated how to set payment for a proposed new part-time water department laborer position, and reviewed details for a new highway department sand/salt storage building before seeking construction bids. In the discussions:
• Preparations for new speed limit signs on portions of Gore Road were cited by Highway Superintendent William Baker, regarding state Department of Transportation approval to reduce the limit from 55 to 40 mph on two sections totaling about eight-tenths of a mile.
The town last year had requested that the speed limit be reduced to 30 mph for the two road sections, which are in the western side of Lee. Part of the road also is within the City of Rome at its southern end which intersects with Route 69, while part of it is in Lee toward its northern end which intersects with Lee Valley Road. The City of Rome portion is a 30 mph zone.
“We asked for 30,” but “40 should help,” Baker told the board. He previously had referred to seeking less drastic differences between the road’s speed zones, in regard to difficulties that the differences can cause for motorists.
• A $140,806 paving contract was awarded to the Dolomite company of Canastota, based on a fixed-price bid of $61.22 for plus-or-minus 2,300 tons of Type 3 modified binder asphalt concrete. Its pricing was the lowest among three companies that submitted bids.
The paving will involve about 1.2 miles of Cook Road and about 0.3 miles of upper Podunk Road, said Baker. The work will occur this year.
In addition to fixed-price bids, all three companies submitted fluctuating-price bids, including Dolomite’s price of $60.22 per ton which was slightly lower than its fixed price. Town councilman Alan Trombley asked about forecasts of whether fluctuating prices would be “going up or going down.” Baker said oil prices are expected to go up, which would drive up prices for paving material, so the board opted for the fixed price.
• For a proposed new part-time water department laborer position to assist town water district Supervisor Joshua Szyper, the board looked at pros and cons of whether it should be salaried or paid on a hourly basis.
Besides helping in such instances as flushing hydrants and dealing with water-line breaks, said Szyper, the position will be on-call when he is unavailable such as during vacations. The backup position is required by the state Health Department, Lee Supervisor John Urtz pointed out.
The discussion included trying to gauge the per-hour expense based on the amount of hours that might be worked, versus whether a set salary would be preferable. At one point councilman L. James “Jamo” Jones Jr. commented “it’s like buying an extended warranty, isn’t it?”
The board can “think it over” and perhaps have a special meeting with potential job-holders, said Urtz. He noted there are three applicants
• The board approved seeking bids for a new sand/salt storage building for the highway department, and also approved Tim Hogan as engineer for the project at a fee of $5,650. Bids will be opened at the board’s May 14 meeting.
Various details for the building were presented by Hogan, including a cost estimate of about $401,000 plus $20,000 for potential unexpected contingencies. He previously had submitted an estimate that was about $100,000 higher, but said Tuesday it had involved preliminary figures and he subsequently got more information including checking costs of similar projects in some nearby towns.
The building will be about 72-by-120 feet.