Buffalo, NY - The legal battle of the Bridge is over between the village of Lancaster and the town and now the town will have to pay for it. A judge ruled that the Lancaster Town Highway Department must handle the estimated $30,000 to $40,000 dollar repair of the Erie Street bridge.
The town tried to stick the village with the bill contending that the small bridge is actually a culvert which should fall under the village's responsibility. Discussions with the town broke down so the village went to court. That was even though they say they didn't want to because of the legal costs. Attorney Paul Weiss, who represented the village, says "It's a functional equivalent of raising taxes by forcing the village to have to pay for litigation costs to have the town do what it was supposed to do to begin with."
The town will be expected to make the bridge repairs under a court order. Weiss says this decision may also be factor in the replacement of the bridge in the future which could run up to an estimated $250,000 dollars.
The attorney representing the town, Charles Malcomb, says they are disappointed with the ruling but there was no mention of an appeal. Malcomb says the town may call on state lawmakers to better clarify what is technically a bridge and what is technically a culvert in state highway law.