By Doug Janese
Town of Lewiston Highway Superintendent
I would like to use this opportunity to announce my intention to run for another term as the Town of Lewiston highway superintendent. I am honored by the support I have been given in the past, and have done my very best to continue to provide the high level of service that our residents deserve.
Highway safety has always been my top priority. During one of the longest and snowiest winters in over 30 years, our plows and salters kept our roads clean and safe every single day. I am extremely proud of the fact that, during my entire time in office, there has not been a single auto injury accident that has been attributed to poor road conditions. I have made roadside drainage system improvements a high priority, too, and in the last five years there hasn't been a need to close a single town road at any time because of flooding.
Although Lewiston is one of the largest towns in Niagara County, one thing that sets our highway department apart from other towns is the fact that we offer so many other services to our residents. Brush and leaf pickup are provided any time of the year.
Our sidewalks and paths are maintained to ensure pedestrian safety, as well. Our rural roadsides are regularly mowed during the lawn season.
We also utilize environmentally sound practices. By using biodegradable salt treatments and improving our equipment, our road salt usage is down almost 20 percent from what it was five years ago. In the last winter season alone, we saved over $40,000 and far less salt entered our local creeks and waterways or damaged our lawns. We are continuing to process our waste wood products into free garden mulch that is available to all Lewiston residents.
Last year, I initiated a recycling program for unwanted electronics. All town and village residents can take advantage of this service without charge. To date, we have collected well over 60,000 pounds of electronic equipment, preventing this material from entering the waste stream and providing a safe and convenient way for our residents to dispose of those items.
While the highway department maintains 128 lane miles of roads, our very talented staff does all of our paving work in-house. By not having to hire contractors to do this work, we have saved our town hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past five years. With the shared services agreement, I have been able to provide the specialized equipment and trained personnel, which has allowed the village DPW to perform their own paving projects. By doing so, we have saved the village taxpayers tens of thousands dollars.
Despite the level of services we provide, I realize that our highway department needs to be managed in the most cost-effective manner possible. I already have a proven record of using your tax dollars responsibly and effectively to be able to hold down costs while still being able to deliver excellent services. Many local municipalities are facing higher costs and lower revenues. But I feel that there is always another way to get the job done without adding any further burden to our taxpayers. So, through constant monitoring of finance and making careful choices, I have finished every single year with a budget surplus. Looking at the numbers to date this year will be no different.
I am proud of the progress we have made so far, and it has truly been an honor to have served the town and to have had your support. I ask that you consider allowing me to continue to serve you and try to help keep Lewiston as the finest community in all of Western New York.