Board hears new Riverwalk phase 4 plans
By Terry Duffy
With the holiday season fast approaching, Town of Lewiston Parks Department crews have been busy assembling the Lewiston Family Ice Rink at Academy Park. And all had been proceeding according to plan - that is, until a significant wind event wreaked havoc last Friday.
Town Parks Department Superintendent Michael Dashineau appeared before the Lewiston Town Board Monday and informed them of tent damage that threatens to disrupt the ice rink's scheduled opening at the Lewiston Christmas Walk next weekend.
"Last Friday was our windstorm in Lewiston. We were in the middle of building our ice rink warming house, which flipped over with the wind," Dashineau said. "We lost a significant portion of it. Now we are working with our insurance adjusters and manufacturers to replace it.
"It has had a lot of different ripple effects on the operation of the ice rink."
Dashineau explained Greenway funding pays for the ice rink itself, but not its operation. That revenue comes from events that involve the town-owned tent, which is now damaged and not useable.
"Because of that, we don't fundraise for the rink; we fundraise for its operation. With the tent not being there, we can't host these parties. We are kind of at a standstill at fundraising or doing any parties," he said.
Dashineau explained damage also has disrupted the hiring of extra workers to staff the rink. "We don't have a schedule for them because we don't have a tent.
"The rink itself is basically ready to go," he said. "We already have contracts signed for its operation."
Dashineau said the windstorm damage occurred while he was out of town on vacation. Since then, he and Interim Supervisor Ron Winkley have been busy trying to figure out a way to address it.
"We are looking at different options - the renting of ice skates, buying a temporary tent, having a different method of getting the kids on the ice," Dashineau said.
He noted that, with recent adjustments, his Greenway funding budget was tight. "We really don't have a lot of money to rent a tent or do big replacement of the tent."
To make matters worse, Dashineau said the damaged tent is no longer made. Finding replacement parts has become a problem.
"The tent that we purchased five years ago, the company no longer makes that tent. ... It costs more for parts," he said. "So we're looking for a way to get around that part of it. The manufacturer has given us (contacts) of people who own these types of tents. They might be able to help us with replacement parts."
In the meantime, Dashineau said he remains hopeful for the rink's anticipated opening.
"We're working on it," he told the board.
In other news from the session:
•Town Engineer Bob Lannon informed the board that developers at the Riverwalk housing subdivision submitted a request for a phase 4A final plat. Included in the request is one by the developer to complete the long-unfinished fire access road in the subdivision that's been a source of controversy with the Lewiston Fire Bureau and neighboring residents.
"About 10 years ago or so, phases 2, 3, 4 and 5 received preliminary plat approval for Riverwalk. Certain phases were completed; certain phases remain unfinished," Lannon said. "Phase 4A is one that remains unfinished."
"Of particular note is ... that within this phase is where this fire access road is," he continued. "About 600 feet of what ultimately will become town road is a stone base. The developer would like to move forward. He has entered into a contract with the previous owner to advance phase 4A in Riverwalk, including submission of a final plat. It will address, among other things, the completion of the roadway."
Lannon told the board that, despite a lapse of several years from preliminary plat approval, the developer now seeks to advance to the final plat. He said the developer also seeks to eliminate green space designations for two lots and, in turn, pay the town recreation fees. He wants a contract agreement to complete the paving.
"They're looking forward to just go to final plat," Lannon said.
"That's excellent news," Winkley said, agreeing with Lannon that approval be granted.
"It's a long time coming," Lannon replied.
•Town Finance Officer Martha Blazick submitted requests to the board for additional purchases of replacement residential water meters to meet town Water Department needs, and for a budget reclassification of $10,000 to provide for an account temp hire. Both were approved without discussion.
•Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte, in his report on department activity said, that Lewiston officers were busy over the past month, with 158 traffic tickets issued, 15 arrests, 20 accidents logged and 809 calls for service received.
On a related traffic enforcement issue, Winkley requested Previte pay further attention to the ongoing problem of passing vehicles at the Model City-Ridge Road intersection. Winkley then suggested the board submit a formal request to the state Department of Transportation to address the matter.