by Susan Mikula Campbell
Some people like to display their "artistic" talent and opinions on things ranging from public bridge overpasses to private home shed doors.
Town of Niagara has decided to fight back with a new anti-graffiti law. A public hearing on the law has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 15, at the next regular Town Board meeting.
Roger Spurback, head of the Niagara Falls Block Club, has suggested a law for both the City of Niagara Falls and the Town of Niagara that would make graffiti a punishable offense.
"We're ready to pass our law," Town of Niagara Supervisor Steve Richards said at this Tuesday's board meeting.
The graffiti problem has grown to the point that Spurback painted over some graffiti on the town's pump house on Military Road and the next day found that the graffiti had been replaced, Richards said.
The new law would put in place a fine of up to $250 or a jail stay of not more than 15 days, or both. In many cases, the culprits are juveniles, so Richards said, "If we catch a juvenile, the parents have to pay the price."
•Richards said he planned to contact Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-Rochester, this week to find out when or if the expected federal funding to help relieve flooding of Cayuga Creek might be restored.
The new House of Representatives Republican majority has put a stop, at least for now, to "earmarks," congressionally directed federal projects, Richards said. This includes $230,000 that Slaughter had announced last month was included in a Senate Omnibus Appropriations bill for the Town of Niagara to fight creek flooding and $9.5 million for a C-130 flight operations facility of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
Instead of going through a member of Congress to request this type of funding, which has been known as "pork barrel," applicants will have to go through federal departments and agencies, such as the Defense Department.
Richards said the town had planned to use the funding for temporary measures that would ease flooding "until the Corps (Army Corps of Engineers) comes up with a permanent solution to the problem."
Also at Tuesday's meeting:
•Councilman Charles Teixeira said the berm work the town has done at Cayuga Creek has seemed to help alleviate some the flooding problem off Tuscarora Road, despite the amount of precipitation lately, but reported another concern brought by a Ziblut Court resident about where to put the snow when plowing a cul-de-sac. The resident complained that vision was blocked by piles of snow by his driveway and that a fire hydrant across the street was buried.
•Councilman Bob Herman reminded residents that Veterans Park on Lockport Road (across from Town Hall) is open for cross-country-skiing, and it is hoped that a third annual free learn to cross country ski program can be scheduled. "Just about the time the weather was just right, here comes the rain," he said of Tuesday's wet conditions.
Town Clerk Sylvia Virtuoso said her office has received a lot of inquiries recently on whether the groomed trails were open (yes) and if ski rentals were available (no).
Suzanne Fulle, who often walks her daughter's dog in the park, reported that she has seen cross-country skiers using the trails even on the coldest days.
•The board accepted the resignation of Cosmo Fratello from the Zoning Board and directed Virtuoso to send a letter of appreciation for his years of service. Fratello has been a member of the Zoning Board since 1977.
•The board appointed Guenter Feucht and Danny Sklarski to the Town of Niagara Local Implementing Development Authority.
•The board approved liquor license renewal applications for Perkins on Military Road and Last Chance on Saunders Settlement Road.
•The board authorized payment of $24,207.02 to CRA Infrastructure and Engineering Inc. for charges relating to the Town of Niagara Community Center, and payment of $57,813 (the same as last year) to Midwest Employers Insurance Co. for an excess workers compensation policy.