Towns Reject Erie County's Snowplow Contract Offer

10:47 PM, Sep 4, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, NY - Town leaders in Western New York have rejected Erie County's snowplowing contract offer. They want more money to make up for the increased cost of fuel and salt to keep the roads safe.

2 On Your Side's Andrea Marvin looks into what this disagreement could lead to if an early snow storm comes.

With cool breeze in the air, you can feel that the seasons are starting to change.

But Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito is worried about how much time is passing and the possibility of an early snow.

"It's their roads and the ball is in their court," Eppolito said. "They need to come and settle this with the towns."

Eppolito tells us Concord is one of 24 towns that have collectively rejected a snowplowing contract with Erie County to plow county roads.

The 24 towns are collectively asking for a 3 year 5 percent increase in pay from their previous contract to cover growing costs. The county came back with a one percent increase offer -- the towns rejected the deal.

So what if snowflakes fall early? Remember the October snow storm in 2006 that snapped tree branches and left thousands without power.

"We won't plow the county roads won't if we don't have a contract. We have to have a contract to go on those roads. Without one, there would be a great amount of liability , more towns are not willing to do that. :do you think that's a safety issue? It's definitely a safety issue the hole things a safety issue. We're talking about school buses, we're talking about ambulances."

"We're in constant negotiation and just like the bills agreement -- we don't talk about the status or agreement until it's done," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Poloncarz questions how the towns cost to plow roads have increased so much.

"In Erie County, this same type of work only increased by 18-percent," Poloncarz said. "Why is it that the towns increased 75 percent and what are they doing."

"We know what they're doing -- there doing this to plug holes in other parts of the budget," Poloncarz said. "We're paying a fair amount."

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