by Terry Duffy
The town budget and finances dominated for the most part at the Lewiston Town Board's recent session on Oct. 24. However there was also news of different sorts discussed at the session, including:
•The issue of renaming The Circle. At an earlier session the Town Board, at the urging of a resident, began the process of renaming The Circle on the Escarpment, to The Circle Drive. Last week the issue returned with complaints from residents, who requested the Town Board reconsider its move. "It affects title searches, insurance changes, DMV changes, credit cards," said resident Myrna Young. "Please do not change the name of the street; it's unnecessary."
She was joined by resident Sam Gelfan, who called the reason given for urging of the name change - references of "The Cir" on mailings - as "ridiculous."
"The change should be to The Circle East or West ... it's a figure eight," said Gelfan. "This is stupid."
"We were told that people wanted this," replied Town Councilman Ernie Palmer.
Resident Dave Vanderbrook called the street name change "a lot of trouble," telling the board it will result in 70 or more people having to notify multiple mailing sources.
The matter was left with board members opting to revisit the issue.
•The issue of the town divesting its green space areas, exclusively in the Lewistowne Estates subdivision, was revisited and updated. Town Attorney Mike Dowd told Supervisor Steve Reiter and the board that selling properties to homeowners on an individual basis was impractical as well as nearly impossible. He mentioned a host of logistical issues, from surveys to titles and legal questions. "The town could (declare them) as abandoned properties and surplus or the make some as surplus to make way for buildable lots," said Dowd. He added that either option would require public hearings.
Town Council member Al Bax suggested the town approach individual adjoining property owners who have expressed interest in purchasing the lots as to whether or not they are actually interested. "The individual owners would have to pay the costs" such as surveys, titles, etc., said Bax. Board members were in agreement the lands, intended initially to benefit the town as recreational spaces are causing problems with liability issues and bordering residents who encroach on them.
"Look at pursuing the easiest option to get rid of them," instructed Reiter to Dowd.
More to come on this at future sessions.
•Revamping the town website. Reiter, town Finance Officer Mike Johnson and board members discussed and all were in agreement on the need to spruce up the town's website and greatly expand its utility. Noted were such immediate benefits to the town as using the site to collect various town fees and police and court fines, in addition to its expanded usefulness for town communication, and information, including posting the meeting minutes of the various town boards and committees. "We need to pursue this website entity much further," said Reiter.
The matter was left with board members and Johnson to work on pursuing outside bids from website companies and exploring other options.
•Town Councilman Mike Marra announced a $94,866 bid was awarded to Ken Young Paving for the Colonial Village restoration project, with funding to be designated by the Greenway Commission.
•Bax revealed he's been continuing discussions with the Village of Lewiston on various consolidation ideas. Both governments are expected to engage the topic further at a joint session to occur in coming months.