Road millings are the ground up asphalt that road crews grind from the street’s surface. The aggregate can be recycled. By further grinding it, melting it down, and mixing it into new asphalt compound, it can be used to resurface the same streets — and thereby save the town highway department a lot of money.
Cheektowaga Highway Superintendent Mark Wegner has come under scrutiny for giving away the road millings to the Lancaster Country Club, which was repaving their parking lot at the time. He is a member of the members-only club. That behavior — along with the improper personal use of town equipment by the department’s employees — prompted an investigation that cost town taxpayers over $100,000, in a fee paid to the Phillips Lytle law firm.
The report of that investigation — which was never made publicly available — was not acted upon by Attorney General Eric Schniederman (or at least not acted upon by the Democrat loyalists who staff the local downtown Buffalo office of the Attorney General). Wegner’s supports cite the Attorney General’s decision as evidence that the behavior is acceptable. But the act of gifting away town property for private use, at whatever value, is an explicit violation of town policy.
Supporters of the former Chairman Frank Max say that Town of Cheektowaga road crews were seen On Thursday morning dumping several piles of road millings at three adjacent William Street junkyards and recycling businesses, owned and operated by Marty Marks and his sons. The millings were freshly ground from residential streets not far away, they allege, and were dumped in plain sight on the properties. The Max camp is unable to provide photo evidence of the town trucks being the source of the millings.
The owner of the junkyard says that he purchased the road millings from another provider and claims to have a receipt for the transaction. Managers on site, Marks’ two sons, were unable to name that provider when asked Thursday afternoon.
Wegner is the Chairman of the Cheektowaga Democrats, which will be hosting its annual endorsement meeting on Monday evening. He is up for reelection as Highway Superintendent this year. It is expected that Wegner will be endorsed by the Committee.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that Town of Cheektowaga trucks made the delivery of road millings to 2060 William Street based on the verbal confirmation of an employee working the front desk of that establishment. This remains a point of contention among the disputing parties, and has not been established as fact.