Town of West Seneca

Environmental Commission Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

7:00 PM

Christian Metz Home

2001 Union Road, West Seneca

I.          CALL TO ORDER


    Christina Bove
    Dave Monolopoulous
    Evelyn Hicks
    Joyce Mallette
    Gary Osterhoudt
    Rick Rutkowski
    Margaret Wooster
    Roberta Vallone

    Absent -    Al Kerner, Ferol Webb, Lestor Loucks


    ---Acceptance of or additions to this agenda

    ---Review and Acceptance of the minutes of the September 25, 2007 meeting

    --Reinstating: RAV will figure out terms and appointments prior to January meeting. Noted that Les Loucks and Ferol Webb have not shown up or called the Chair in several months. Joyce will ask Webb re: continued interest. Gary should contact Les.


    1.   Storm Drain Stenciling (Rick Rutkowski, reporting): Gary Bommer provided the street plans with catch basins so that we have the sites identified for stenciling. We probably need to get approval from the Town Board. It depends on who has jurisdiction – if it is a Town street, then you need Town Board permission. Tina will talk to the rest of the Town Board and to Gary Bommer to discuss. This would help to satisfy Town requirement for MS4 permit. Need to have public involvement and education. Tina will tell us what next step will be.

    2.   Canisius Sports Stadium – status, possible meeting re: land conservancy for Eastern parcel? The lights and paving has been done. First game might not be until November 3. The scoreboard is not on building permit. They withdrew application for sign. Riverkeeper is planning to contact Canisius to discuss preservation options for unneeded parcel.

    3.   Public Boat Launch/Creek Access Project – status of grant application. The Assembly is allocating $50,000. That will not cover the cost of the fishing access area. The initial project cost was $400,000. They have backed off from that. Grant application pending with OPRHP; submitted in June.

    4.   WalMart Site – status; for sale by owner. Find out how much they are asking for it; could it be available for brownfield remediation? Evelyn will call them.

    5.   Stormwater Outreach Project: Erie County Environmental Management Council has copied our stormwater program (a nice compliment for our efforts). Stenciling the storm drains will be next outreach that WS will do; and EMC might follow our lead on that also.

    6.   Collaboration Efforts with Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper; Buffalo River RAP coordinator. INFO: The study area for the habitat restoration plan goes up to first impassable fish barrier – Transit Road. The habitat restoration plan is a part of the Buffalo River Remedial Action Plan. For restoring the River, the Riverkeeper has to focus on West Seneca. Downstream, there is still too much contamination to restore habitat. The only two remaining wetlands connected to the creek are the oxbow and the cell tower, near the railroad trestle. It is a 4 acre wetland mapped by DEC. The DEC and Riverkeeper recommendation is that the remaining wetlands should be preserved, along with the floodplain forests. The oxbow is in good shape; not too many invasive species. Crayfish and vegetation looks good. There is a good argument that this is really a strategically important area for spawning fish. Riverkeeper would like to see a leverage of the donation to get funds. Land donors might not want any public access. The boat launch might be a good place for knotweed removal. (The boat launch project is scaled down to a kayak launch and fishing park.) The downstream river is the working river; West Seneca is so fortunate to have the living river. We should latch onto the RAP umbrella because that will get us funding. There are waterfalls in the creek but we have not mentioned them in the comprehensive plan. Bird survey in Cazenovia shows a healthy diversity of species. We have all the indicators of good water quality.

    We decided to form an Ad Hoc Committee for Greenway and Habitat Protection, RAV moved, Paula seconded.    All in favor, passed.

    Members: RAV, Evelyn, Dave, Rick, Tina. Evelyn will talk to Webb’s about restoration on their property. Evelyn will be chair.

    UB just did a remap of state and federal wetlands in West Seneca; Joe Gardella (RAV to contact Liz Kazubski).

    7.   New Farmland Protection Grant:    Nothing to report.


    1.   Long Range Plan for WSEC: Evelyn wrote it up; Joyce submitted Annual Report. April 1 is when year starts. Appointments start in September. Certain appointments are made annually.

    2.   Recruiting of Youth for Environmental Commission.    Pending.

    3.   Budget expenditures: Spent any money this month. What is our balance? We don’t know the balance.

    4.   What are we having in library in November: Joyce needs to put that in the library on November 1. Al Kerner was supposed to help. Gary is available after 1:00. Joyce will try to get a hold of Al again. The theme will be “Discovering Your Back Yard.”


  • Workshops for WNYLC: October 25 and November 8.

  • Healing Our Waters Great Lakes Coalition, Saturday December 1, 9:30-3:30 at Niagara University.

  • CEC is doing a 2 day seminar for kids 5-8 grades in Niagara County.


    1.   Fishing Derby – Spring 2008


      Gary Oosterhoudt, Chairman;  Rick Rutkowski, Vice-Chairman;  Roberta Vallone, Secretary;  Joyce Mallette,  Lester Loucks;  Paula Olma;  Ferol Webb;  Al Kerner

      West Seneca Town Board Liason: Christina W. Bove, Councilmember

Respectfully submitted,

Roberta Vallone