NIAGARA FALLS – There's only one guy in Western New York who can't get enough of this brutal winter.
His name is Eugene Colucci, and he's the guy who fixes your tires.
"This is the season to sell tires," said Colucci, the owner of Gene's Wholesale Tire on Military Road. "We love it."
Thanks to a combination of snow, rain and freezing conditions, potholes have begun littering roads across the region at an almost unprecedented rate. David Kinney, the Director of Public Works for the City of Niagara Falls, said he's never seen so many in his lifetime, and Colucci said he's "abnormally busy" fixing people's tires and selling them new ones.
"This is the worst I've seen the streets, the roads, in a long time," Colucci said. "The potholes are decimating these vehicles."
So Niagara Falls has a solution: the Pothole Killers. Although the name could pass for an '80s band, the Pothole Killers are actually a Pennsylvania-based service that, simply put, fills the potholes for the cities that hire its workers. On Monday, the Niagara Falls City Council unanimously approved a contract for $105,000 with Patch Management, Inc., and the Pothole Killers for the 2014 season.
"I think we're definitely getting our money's worth out of it," Kinney said. "They fill up the hole and then it gels together, and forms a hard substance, and then they cover it with some dry stone and then you can drive right over it immediately."
Niagara Falls has utilized the Pothole Killers for several years, but normally, the city has hired them for 320 hours of work. This year, Kinney increased that number to 480 hours because of the high workload.
The service provides all of the materials, including the truck and the driver. Kinney said they're expected to arrive in Niagara Falls on May 1.
"It's very quick. We could never do it," Kinney said. "Manually, it would take forever to try to fill all the potholes."
The Pothole Killers work all over the place, including Cleveland, and even in Brazil.
And when they arrive in Niagara Falls, they'll steal a little business away from Eugene Colucci.
"Hey, anything that makes things better! We all pay taxes, hopefully the roads can be fixed," Colucci said. "No matter what, we're still gonna get busy."