Aug. 24 hearing set for Wolfgang subdivision
By Terry Duffy
Different interpretations of the Town of Lewiston's 284 Agreement covering the expenditure of highway paving monies occupied discussion at the Lewiston Town Board session Monday.
Lewiston resident Paulette Glasgow opened discussion on the agreement by telling Town Board members their own document, approved and signed off on June 22, was vague, did not conform to what the state comptroller's office and Association of Towns typically call for, and needs to be amended.
"As the financial and auditing board of the town, it's your responsibility to account for and ensure that every public dollar is spent properly and legally," Glasgow said. "The document you approved is so vaguely written that it gives the highway superintendent a broad spectrum to go anywhere he wishes, to do anything he chooses with a quarter of a million dollars."
As expected, that was met with some disagreement from Town Attorney Brian Seaman and Highway Superintendent Doug Janese.
Seaman said the current 284 Agreement, while general, does meet the requirements/parameters of the law.
"The Town Board does have the option to complete a longer form for the state comptroller," he said. "The current agreement is legal. It does not provide (details) on cost. It's intended to be a vehicle between highway and the Town Board."
"It was meant to be an agreement between the Town Board and highway on what will be paid," he added.
Janese told Supervisor Dennis Brochey and Town Board members (Al Bax was absent) any restructuring of the 284 Agreement at this point could result in a lapse of work in areas of the town scheduled to be paved. Janese said he was working within a $250,000 paving budget and already arranged for county paving equipment to be on site for jobs in Sanborn and on Myers Hill Road.
Following some limited back and forth between board members and Seaman, it was agreed to let Janese begin this round of paving work (other areas of the town and village were also mentioned on the "to do" list) and for Janese to provide cost updates to Brochey and the board as work proceeds.
In other news:
•Brochey said Town Historian Robert Martinez had tendered his resignation. He recommended Jon Sharpe take over. That didn't sit well with Councilman Ron Winkley, who suggested the town should instead advertise for the opening in the same manner it does for other positions.
After some discussion, Brochey agreed and the town is expected to advertise for the position.
•Finance Director Martha Blazick advised board members to pursue a renewal of an expiring highway bond anticipation note rather than pursuing a conversion to regular bonding.
"I don't advise going to Moody's at this point," Blazick said, noting the town's recent unfavorable agency rating and adding a BAN renewal, at this point, would be cheaper.
Board members agreed and gave her the OK to pursue a short-term one-year renewal.
•The board will hold a public hearing on the Wolfgang subdivision, a 27-unit project of single-family homes under consideration on vacant lands behind properties on the 4200 block of Lower River Road in northern Lewiston. The hearing will take place at 6 p.m., Monday, Aug. 24, prior to the Town Board's regular meeting.