Wheatfield joins call for SAFE Act repealby jmaloni
by Susan Mikula Campbell
The Wheatfield Town Board on Monday joined the Niagara County Legislature and other municipalities across the state in calling for repeal of the NY SAFE Act.
The board unanimously passed motion that echoed the call for a repeal of the gun control act passed by the County Legislature last week.
"I think we all agree that even if you agree with parts of the law or the whole law, it was rushed through (by the state)," Supervisor Bob Cliffe said. "It needs to be repealed and started over."
Cliffe said the move was supported by the town's Firearms Permit Review Board.
Cliffe also noted that the town's next pistol permit class will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. March 27 at the Niagara Gun Range, 3355 Niagara Falls Blvd. Cost for Wheatfield residents is $45. Call the town clerk's office at 716-694-6441 to register.
In other matters:
•The board approved a motion to have the town's Youth Center operate its own summer camp program at the facility this year instead of contracting with the YMCA (as was done last year) or with the YWCA. Youth Center program coordinators Molly Gurman and Debbie Reed will head up the program.
Gurman has worked last year with the YMCA camp. She and Reed have conducted several successful camps in the past year, including the Youth Center's Spring Break Camp, the Easter Break Camp, the Halloween party and the Fairmount Park Summer Activity Days. They also will organize this year's town Easter party, which is moving to the Youth Center.
Pricing for the summer camp will be the same with reduced cost for town residents. Gurman said they plan to offer daily, weekly and whole summer rates.
Information on the camp, which will start in June, will be released soon and reported in the Tribune, on the town's web page, by mass email and through flyers.
•Wheatfield resident Danny Maerten questioned whether the town was undercutting private sector business by having town employees certified for backflow testing. Maerten, a plumber, said he had just paid $195 for a three-year renewal. He wanted to know if town charges for testing were lower than that charged by private plumbers, especially if the certification for town employees was done on town time while using a town truck. If so, he said, "I'm paying for somebody to do my job that I could be making money on."
•Maerten also asked if there had been any progress in getting the town its own ZIP codes. Currently, the town has four ZIP codes, none of which say Wheatfield, NY, so the town doesn't have its own identity.
Councilman Larry Helwig noted the town has asked for its own ZIP code several times in the past. At first the town was told it wasn't big enough for its own ZIP code and now that the town has grown considerably, the post office doesn't have the money for a change. Helwig noted that he's written to past congressmen about the matter and will now try Chris Collins.
•The board approved a resolution to have Cliffe write a letter to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority opposing the proposed termination of the Route 57 bus route.
•Highway Superintendent Art Kroening reminded residents that the town's winter parking ban on streets is still in effect from 2 to 6 a.m. until April.
•Sturgeon reminded residents that late fees for spring sports go into effect March 4.
•Assessor Bridgette Grawe reminded town seniors that STAR tax exemption forms are due by March 1.
•Councilman Gil Doucet reminded seniors that there still are tax preparation programs to be held at the Wheatfield Community Center in March and to call 694-8504 for details and reservations.
"I took my 89-year-old mother over there (to have her taxes done). She got a free cup of coffee. What more could she ask for?" he said.
•Helwig announced that the Shawnee Junior Explorer Post 2202 will hold its annual spaghetti dinner and Chinese auction from noon to 5 p.m. March 24 at the firehall, 3747 Lockport Road, Sanborn.
•The next Wheatfield Town Board meeting will be on Monday, March 11. It will begin at 7:10 p.m. with a public hearing on a request for refinancing of a St. Johnsburg Volunteer Fire Co. ladder truck, followed by a second public hearing at 7:15 p.m. on the proposed airport overlay district. The regular meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.