by Terry Duffy
Following a lead-off joint village-town session where discussions centered on such exciting "wish list" items as a skating rink, a winter wonderland and a recreation center, Monday's regular Lewiston Town Board session got down to the more mundane, but nonetheless relevant.
River Walk Drive resident Liz Wilson appeared during community comments and voiced concerns to the board on a festering quality of life issue - that being operating noise from the nearby Water Pollution Control Center. "It's quite disturbing," said the resident of the noises coming from turbines at the plant.
Wilson said a barrier installed earlier did not appear to be doing the job, and she suggested "inexpensive solutions" such as erecting an "egg tube" roof barrier or some type of elevated fence.
Asked by Town Supervisor Steve Reiter on what was being done to address her concern, WPCC operations manager Jeff Ritter said the plant's turbines, when they operate, put out roughly 79 decibels of noise, which he said was not excessive. Still, he suggested some type of sound deadening blankets could be utilized to correct the problem and indicated that it could also likely be addressed as part of the future capital improvements planned for the plant. Board members also suggested that the River Walk developer, Ryan Homes, could help remedy the problem by following through on earlier pledged but yet to be completed measures intended to help quiet the noise problem for nearby residents.
Also in community comments, resident Paulette Glasgow of The Circle visited and inquired to the board on its non-response thus far to Freedom of Information requests she submitted regarding the Joseph Davis State Park Local Development Corporation.
Reading from her submitted letter, Glasgow stated:
"On May 23 ... I handed each of you a written Freedom of Information request for access to information ... "
"As of June 27, some 24 days after I handed each of you that FOIL request I have yet to receive any written response informing me that the information is available ... ."
Glasgow said that, other than receiving an acknowledgment from Town Clerk Carol Brandon, she has yet to hear any type of response from the town. "Under the law, I am entitled to a response," said Glasgow, telling the board that unless she received a response she would be submitting yet another FOIL request on July 5 seeking information.
No response on her query came from the board that night. But Reiter later on did offer an overview on the Joe Davis Park situation, recalling an earlier May 19 meeting he and town members had with representatives from New York State Office of Parks and Historical Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey's office. Reiter called that session, held at State Sen. George Maziarz' Albany office, which also included Assemblyman John Ceretto, constructive. He indicated the discussions were exploratory and for information gathering.
"We were looking for their consent," said Reiter, who said the town's various proposals for JDP, such as the Nature Center, the fish hatchery and the conference center were discussed but no action taken.
"We're finally moving in a direction to get Joseph Davis Park moving," Reiter commented further, as he went on to praise the town's highway, drainage and sewer departments for the upgrades and other work done at the park so far.
On a related note, U.S. Rep Louise Slaughter's office announced this week that a $160,031 grant has been secured for habitat restoration at Joseph Davis Park. The Buffalo Audubon Society will use the grant to restore 35 acres of habitat along the Niagara River corridor, which includes the park.
In other news from the session:
•Reiter said that a request from the Town Fire Bureau to upgrade water mains and line connections at the northeast corner Creek and Pletcher roads, which followed the recent Town Board planned unit development approval for senior housing and duplexes at the site, would be covered by developers as part of their overall improvements. He said the current connection that he called inadequate, consists of an 8-inch line which was installed years ago when the high school was built.
•Town Attorney Mike Dowd informed he was still reviewing a contract with New York Electrical Recycling for e-waste recycling in the town. He said logistical issues such as prices per pound were still being worked out with Highway Superintendent Doug Janese, whose department will likely be coordinating pickups.