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SEP 01 - SEP 08, 2015

Touma Calls for Special Meeting to Fund the Frozen Pipe Fix on 72nd Street

By Anna Howard

Sep 01, 2015

The Niagara Falls Reporter published this picture in February 2014, showing the shallow water lines on 72nd Street. Now one and one half years later, the city is about to fix the problem of the too-shallow water lines.


As Chevy Chase, the first and best of the Saturday Night Live “Update” news anchors would say, “This just in! Council Chairman Andrew Touma has called for a special meeting to be held on Thursday, September 3 at 4pm in the council chambers at city hall in order to approve the allocation of city funds for the repair of the water lines on 72nd Street.”

We have no doubt that Mayor Dyster and his sidekick council chairman thought that the announcement late in the afternoon of August 31 was just late enough to keep the Reporter from catching their latest frozen water pipe ploy and writing about it.

The meeting notice contains two points of action: 1) “Appropriate Funding for water line replacement on 72nd Street.” 2) “Approve grant application to Environmental Facilities Corp. to partially fund the 72nd Street water line replacement.”

The council chairman is asking the council to approve a grant request in the amount of up to $676, 400 under the New York State Water Grant Program. If approved by the council at the special September 3 meeting the Mayor will be authorized to execute the grant application and “effectuate the grant application and/or the receipt of the grant.”

The $676,400 in project funding breaks down thusly: $502,124 from the city’s paving program and $174,276 from casino funds. By the looks of it this money was available all along and so we ask, why didn’t Dyster and Touma move in May to make the water line repair instead of rushing at the last minute as both Election Day and winter approaches?

While, in the minds of Dyster and Touma, the drama of the frozen water pipes appears to be reaching both an end and a happy resolution, the Reporter predicts neither. Since the Water Authority has not signed off on the Dyster water line work it appears that the repair/tampering could absolve the Water Authority of any future responsibility and maintenance of the lines for the future…whether the Dyster “fix” is successful or not.

Imagine if Dyster’s fix doesn’t end the problem but instead opens up a whole new set of other problems?

Worth noting is that the Dyster repair timeline has made councilman Touma a loser of his own bet. Several weeks ago the council chairman boasted, during his appearance on the Tom Darro show, that he guaranteed a full repair to the water pipe problems no later than October of this year. Touma even offered to bet a radio caller who laughed at Touma’s claim that the project would be finished by October. According to Dyster’s own timeline the repair should come by the end of November, if not later.

Councilman Touma, don’t forget to pay the man, because it looks like you’re going to lose your bet.







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