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Updated: Village of Lewiston: More high marks for Artpark safety

by jmaloni
Tue, Jun 21st 2011 09:20 am

by Joshua Maloni

The Lewiston Police Department was again commended Monday for its efforts in curtailing mischief and facilitating traffic out of the village following last week's "Tuesday in the Park" concert at Artpark.

"For the most part, 200 percent improvement over previous years," Village of Lewiston Police Commissioner Al Soluri told trustees at their monthly meeting.

He attributed the improvement to the LPD's tag-teaming with State Police, Parks Police, Niagara County Sheriff's Office, Niagara County Auxiliary Police and Border Patrol officers. Collectively, this patrol unit was able to monitor activity in the park and along the village streets.

"The cooperation with all those agencies was excellent," Soluri said.

He noted "above-average" arrests. In total, the LPD net garnered citations for public lewdness (two), disorderly conduct (two), open containers (four), underage possession of alcohol (one), harassment (one), larceny (one), traffic (five) and parking (20) violations.

The county tallied offenses for marijuana (three), open containers (two), driving while intoxicated (one), underage possession of alcohol (one), warrant execution (one) and traffic violations (three).

Village resident Gretchen Morgan warned Monday of a blind spot around the hill at the new Seneca Street Robert Moses Parkway entrance. Soluri agreed that was a problem, and also said he noticed cars were parked on lawns. The village recently passed an ordinance banning parking on side streets on "Tuesday in the Park" nights and prohibiting pop-up pay lots (aka residential driveways).

Trustees said they'd look into both matters.

"We're bound to have some problems," Mayor Terry Collesano said, as he suggested the process would be "tweaked" each week to maximize effectiveness. "Overall it's a lot better.

"All in all, I think it went very well. The police department did an excellent job."

The Village Board and LPD will discuss the new South Fourth Street traffic pattern. Soluri and Police Chief Chris Salada said motorists in the left lane, which is supposed to lead to River Road, were turning right and heading back to Center Street.

Deputy Mayor Bruce Sutherland said he would call the Town of Lewiston and see if its department of public works could aid the village's unit in placing "no parking" signs on Tuesdays. He also said trustees (or a board representative) should meet with police representatives each Wednesday or Thursday to debrief that week's concert safety efforts.

"I think we're on the right path," Soluri said. "It's going to take some time, but we're on the right path."

He suggested concertgoers and park neighbors "feel safer. That's the comment I got this year."

Creedence Clearwater Revisited performs Tuesday at Artpark. The show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Note to Contractors: Move Your Waste

Village Zoning Officer Bill Brodie said residents are hiring contractors to take trees down, and said contractors are not removing the debris left when they finish.

"The village taxpayers are picking up the cost (for the DPW to pick up the remains)," Brodie said.

"I know (DPW Superintendent) Bryan (Meigs) is upset about it; I'm upset about it," Brodie added.

The board informed him the village can charge contractors a fee to cover the DPW's cost. Or, those hired can just remove the waste.

"They're going to have to pay for it - one way or another," Village of Lewiston Attorney Ed Jesella said. "It's a hard situation, but (Bryan) only has so many people."

"I have no problem sending a bill," Brodie said.

Trustees said residents can remove their own trees and coordinate a pickup with the DPW. But, if a contractor is involved, then that person or team is responsible for moving the excess debris.

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