by Terry Duffy
News of a returning summer festival at Porter on the Lake, finalizing a new park committee and complaints of a derelict property owner on Youngstown-Lockport Road were among issues discussed at Monday's Porter Town Board meting.
Jennifer Pauly, president of the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, visited and informed the board, "We'd like to return the Porter on the Lake festival." Pauly noted the event of past years was a summer community day-type affair held at the park, featuring bands, vendors and concessions. It was replaced last year by the Porter Founder's Day celebration.
Pauly said the chamber would like to hold the event on Saturday, June 29, with a rain date set for Sunday, June 30. "We would furnish the volunteers and use chamber resources to get the ball rolling with bands, entertainment and family activities," she said. "We think it would be great to bring it back."
Pauly told the board all proceeds from the chamber-funded affair would go improvements at the town park. The offer was met with immediate approval from the board.
Later, Town Councilman Jeff Baker posted on Facebook the event's return and commented, "We need help if anyone has time." For inquiries on volunteering or contributing to the event, contact Pauly at the chamber, 754-9500.
Other park news of note came from Councilman Larry White, who reported he is still seeking volunteers interested in working on the Porter on the Lake committee. The group that is now being formed would assist the town on directing park improvements, planning and activities. White is expected to serve as board liaison to the new group. For information on joining, contact White at 745-1176.
In other news from the session:
•Lake Road resident Rita Winko questioned the board on what could be done with a continuing junkyard problem on a neighboring property that's become an aggravation. "It's an ongoing situation; it needs to be resolved," said the resident. She told the board that accumulating junk and cars on the property has affected her ability to sell her property and said the town has been looking the other way.
That was met with discussion among board members, Town Attorney Mike Dowd and Town Building Inspector Roy Rogers on what could be done. Rogers said the owner has been in court previously and faced a fine of only $100 to $150, and the problem continues. Dowd suggested options, including having the owner cited again, taking court action, imposing heavier fines and having the town fully clean up the property and bill the owner. He informed the board of the procedure, which could also see a public hearing.
Town Councilman Tom Baia said the town "should do everything its power" to clean it up. "Let's go to work on this tomorrow morning."
The matter closed with Supervisor Mert Wiepert directing Rogers and Dowd to begin moving aggressively on the problem.