Modified: January 23, 2015 2:09pm
Three Year Plan Protects Taxpayers, Provides Annual Increases of 3%
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Commissioner of Public Works John Loffredo, Aurora Supervisor Jolene Jeffe, Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito, Newstead Supervisor Dave Cummings, and Dennis Dains, Ed Michalski and Fred Piasecki, Highway Superintendents from the Towns of Concord, Evans and Orchard Park, respectively, to announce a new snowplowing agreement has been reached between Erie County and the Association representing the 32 municipalities that contract with the county for snowplowing. The new contract, which must be approved by the Erie County legislature and the Town Boards of each of the municipalities, calls for an annual increase of 3% for the next three years, which amounts to an initial increase of $135,000 from the expired contract.
“With colder weather coming in the next few months, it was imperative we reach a fair agreement that was fiscally conservative and also ensured the public’s safety. I am pleased these negotiations produced a result that is fiscally workable for all parties involved and protects the public safety as well,” said Poloncarz. “Both sides understood we would have to compromise a little to reach a mutually agreeable position. I thank the members of the Highway Superintendents Association and Town Supervisors for their willingness to discuss this issue and help in reaching the solution we did.”
Negotiations centering on the new agreement began in March 2013, with three sessions involving members of the Association and the Erie County Departments of Public Works and Budget. Erie County’s snowplowing expense grew from $2.1 million in 2000 to $4.5 million in the current fiscal year. The towns had initially sought a contract that would have granted them raises of 5% annually for the next three years, which would have added over $225,000 to the county budget in the first year alone.
Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito and Orchard Park Superintendent Fred Piasecki added, “We would like to thank County Executive Poloncarz and his entire staff. While negotiations were difficult, we feel we have a fair contract. Both sides gave a little. We would like to thank Town Highway Superintendents Dennis Dains and Ed Michalski and Aurora Supervisor Jolene Jeffe, and Newstead Supervisor Dave Cummings who also served on the negotiating team. Negotiations were difficult, but in the interest of public safety compromises had to be made.”
Pending approval by the legislature, the new contract will take effect in budget years 2014-16.