Town of Ellicottville 2018
Supervisor McAndrew Looks Forward to Bringing on Pierson
Story by John Thomas
To hear Town Supervisor Matt McAndrew describe it, the new Town/Village Director of Public Works, Niles Pierson, will find his hands pretty full when he takes his position in March. As the Supervisor explains, the position was created to provide “more bang for the buck” for EVL taxpayers. He goes on to clarify, “Right now the Village and Town have part-time service.” Both the Town and Village have their own Highway Department supervisors and have contracts with outside engineers (Nussbaumer and Clark for the Village and Mark Alianello for the Town). By hiring Mr. Pierson to be Director of Public Works and Engineer for both entities, taxpayers will see their tax dollars go further.
The creation of the of the Town/Village Public Works office was made possible by a grant the Town received from the State. Under the Governor’s Initiative for Shared Services, towns who combined services could receive the money. The application from the Village and Town to create the shared office was precisely what the State had in mind. The $400,000 grant will allow the Town to set up office space, purchase computers and other equipment.
One of the first projects the new Director will take on will be creating a GIS database of the Town/Village’s assets, coupled with their GPS coordinates. “That’s huge,” McAndrew says, “the condition of it (the asset), what’s been done to it; all this information will be at our fingertips.” This will allow Mr. Pierson to pro-actively create a five-year plan for maintaining and replacing infrastructure. He adds, “It’s going to really benefit both the Town and Village.” In fact, it was Mr. Pierson’s experience and expertise with GIS systems that made him a standout during the selection process.
The Supervisor warns residents not to expect too much visible change in the Town and Village quickly. “There’s going to be a time of transition for him. Quick change is not good. He’s got to learn the system.” But McAndrew has confidence in Pierson, “He’s going to be hands-on.” Later he adds, “He’s a very intelligent guy, and I’m anxious for him to start.”
Mr. McAndrew has been generous with his time in working with the Ellicottville Great Valley Recreational Trail committee. One remaining obstacle for the group is getting the property owners between Town Center and Tim Horton’s on 219 to agree to let the trail cross their property. Verbal agreements have been secured, but the paperwork remains. He says there is some survey work the county is willing to do on behalf of the trail. Town Attorney Kathleen Moriarty will provide the legal work.
As we finish our conversation, I ask him if there is any New Year’s message he wants to convey to the readers. “I want to send everyone best wishes and hope for a prosperous New Year.”