By Terry Duffy
With summer winding down, a board member and two town officials absent, and a light agenda, the Lewiston Town Board held a brief session Monday at Town Hall, discussing future planning items.
Topping the short list was:
•New York State Assemblyman John Ceretto visited to discuss the traffic safety problem on Garlow Road as it approaches Saunders Settlement Road.
Similar to traffic issues at the Dickersonville-Ridge roads intersection, the Garlow corner entering at Saunders Settlement Road has been the scene of numerous traffic mishaps over the years. Sanborn residents and officials approached Ceretto to help facilitate Department of Transportation assistance of a new traffic study on the state-run Route 31.
Discussing what he called "the dangers at Garlow Road," Ceretto said, "Some issues just constantly keep going. They should be addressed. When I was a Town Board member, that issue came to us way back when and we asked the DOT to do a study.
"They came back and said that it was 'safe.' We all came back and shook our heads. Before that time, and after, there's been a lot of accidents.
"We know, as Lewiston residents, that is a very dangerous area. It needs to be addressed."
Ceretto told Supervisor Steve Broderick and the Town Board he intends to reach out, yet again, to the DOT commissioner and regional director on the town's behalf.
•Ceretto also announced the availability of state discretionary funding for area capital projects and informed the board he would be seeking state assistance to allow for sidewalk and street lighting projects in Sanborn. This would involve the building of sidewalks from the Niagara County Community College campus to the Sanborn business area.
Ceretto said he wanted to partner with the town on the project in order to make a quarter-million dollars in state funding availed to him "go further." Sought from the town was assistance in absorbing engineering and labor costs related to the project.
"I'm glad that I'm able to help and work with the supervisor on this project," Ceretto said.
No Town Board action was taken that evening on the Sanborn assistance.
•The Town Board also discussed its future participation in the Niagara County Health Consortium - a grant funding mechanism that would enable towns to better manage health insurance costs for employees.
"This a resolution that has been availed to all the municipalities participating in the health care consortium up to this point," attorney Brain Seaman said. "The essence ... is that there's a grant that has been awarded this consortium. ... There is a 10 percent match, which means that all participating communities have to come up (with a total of) $25,000. It requires the town to contribute $417 and an additional $737 over a two-year period for payments to continue this."
"We're still at a Q&A (phase) with the consortium," Broderick said. "Basically it's to find out if we benefit by continuing with the consortium."
"It's in the very initial stage," Seaman said, cautioning that, if the town agreed to sign up, it could be obligated for a certain amount of time.
"It's a long-term thing," Seaman said.
"Basically, we just need a motion to continue," Broderick said, noting that town unions and CSEA are likewise participating.
Soon after, the motion to continue the town's involvement was approved, with funding to come from the supervisor's contingency account.
The Village of Lewiston also is considering joining the consortium.
•The Town Board introduced for consideration a local law, which would place a six-month moratorium on the installation of individual solar units and farms in Lewiston.
"It gives the town the opportunity to look into various issues and draft a law that would regulate things such as setbacks, where they would be placed," Seaman said.
The board approved a motion for the public hearing on the moratorium to be held at its next regular meeting, at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26.