Janese discusses financial concerns
by Terry Duffy
Supervisor Dennis Brochey and Lewiston Town Board members moved on setting the process toward filling an open position on the board and accepted the retirement of a long-time, popular Town Hall figure at Monday's work session.
The two were among a host of items on the agenda, some moved on, several others tabled or deferred over the course of more than an hour at Town Hall.
Moving first to the vacancy created by the recent resignation of member Mike Marra, the Town Board approved for acting Town Clerk Donna Garfinkel to begin the process of accepting applications from interested residents.
"The Town of Lewiston is seeking applicants to fill a current vacancy on the Town Board with the term to expire December 31, 2014," said a release issued this week by the town. "All interested individuals should submit resumes to the Town Clerk's Office, 1375 Ridge Road, P.O. Box 330, by August 22, 2014."
Soon after came approval of the resignation for Johnson, who most recently served as town finance officer. Johnson, who spent more than decade as a council member, served as town budget director in the former Steve Reiter administration and later as finance officer. He waged an unsuccessful primary against Brochey last fall for supervisor and in past months continued to serve the town in an advisory role for Paul Kloosterman, a CPA who took over as town finance director this year under Brochey.
Republican majority Board members were successful Monday in approving Johnson's retirement following an earlier move by Brochey for his resignation. For Johnson, who turned 62 on Aug. 11, it means time to spend more time with his family and return his attention to his real estate career. "I'm looking forward it, going to keep busy," said Johnson on his plans of continuing as an active licensed agent with the Lewiston office of Realty USA.
In other news from the session:
•The board gave its approval for Kloosterman to look into a lease to own scenario to replace a senior transport van for the Lewiston Senior Center. Kloosterman said the current vehicle, which has in excess of 200,000 miles on it is in sore need of replacement and offered a possible lease to own scenario where the town would lease a new replacement vehicle estimated to cost $52,000 for some $11,000 per year.
The matter was approved on a motion by Councilman Ron Winkley, for the town to first look into any state bidding process options to replace the vehicle and then consider the Kloosterman plan if none exists.
•With tight times ongoing at Town Hall, Brochey and the board heard on a litany of financial concerns from Town Highway Superintendent Doug Janese. Included were: problems with the town ultimately addressing the River Walk drainage issues, which Janese attributed to a situation of housing built earlier in marshy areas by its developer and resulting in a problem that's not easily nor cheaply fixed; to costly tree removal problems sprouting up town green space areas and what to do about it; to arguments against a replacing two muckland pumps due to excessive cost and limited town funds; to Swann Road drainage issues who covers the cost - homeowners or the town; to an estimated $125,000 to pay for a basic rebuilding paving job for Moore Road that Janese said had fallen into shoddy disrepair due to past town neglect.
Other than the board approving a proposal for Janese and Town Engineer Bob Lannon to look into a $30,000-$40,000 estimate rebuild for one muck land pump versus $300,000 to replace, no definitive action on the others was taken.
Board members later convened into executive session to discuss a number of litigation issues that were removed from the agenda.