Two West Seneca Town Board members have voted to request a change in the use of $50,000 in state grant money which was originally intended to help pay for installation of GPS units in trucks for the Highway Department and other town vehicles.
Callers to our Tipline had asked 2 On Your Side to look into the issue and that in turn prompted a board vote in June. Board Members Sheila Meegan and Dale Clark actually joined Supervisor Wallace Piotrowski back in that June meeting to okay a request for bids for the GPS units. But in September, Meegan and Clark voted to ask the state for permission to instead use that grant funding for security cameras which could be placed at Sunshine Park, town offices in the Burchfield Art and Nature Center, and the Highway Department. Meegan says those facilities have been or could be the targets of vandals and thieves.
Piotrowski said he feels the grant money should have been used for its original purpose to help promote fuel efficiency and effective use of the vehicles. The City of Buffalo and Erie County use such monitoring systems.
Meegan says Town Highway Superintendent Matthew English felt the GPS units were not needed and that the cameras would be a much better use for the funds. She also points out that matching bond funds of $50,000 could also be used for the GPS program. Piotrowski says that is not enough for an adequate program. He says the issue is dead at this point unless future board members look at the issue.
English says he will go along with the board decision in any way. He says the issue of GPS units was never discussed with highway department staffers or their union.
Meegan and Piotrowski are both candidates for town supervisor in the November election.