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Town of Porter kicks off bicentennial observances

by jmaloni
Sat, Jun 19th 2010 06:00 am
Supervisor Mert Wiepert addresses the crowd before dedicating the `Tower's Corners` town bicentennial marker.
Supervisor Mert Wiepert addresses the crowd before dedicating the "Tower's Corners" town bicentennial marker.
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by Terry Duffy

photos by Wayne Peters

The Porter Town Board led off its meeting Monday by recognizing the town's past, as a brief ceremony was held outside Town Hall marking the beginning of observances marking Porter's 200th anniversary of its incorporation.

Town Historian Suzanne Simon Dietz, as part of an ongoing process of procuring street signs marking significant crossroads in the town, assisted the Town Board in dedicating the first marker, "Tower's Corner," which Town Highway Superintendent Scott Hillman installed at the intersection of Creek Road and Route 93. Town Superintendent Mert Wiepert said the town's crossroads marker program will continue along with other historical events the town is planning, as Porter moves toward recognizing its 200th anniversary on June 1, 2012.

Inside, matters got down to present day, as board members heard a complaint of a new build on Park Avenue in the Fort Niagara Beach subdivision, and another of safety concerns on a Ransomville Road right of way.

A Park Avenue resident had questions regarding a new structure built nearby on what was formerly an old cottage, telling the board she felt the owner didn't have the proper permits. On question from Wiepert, Building Inspector Roy Rogers said the property owner in question had a permit modification but was unsure as to a permit issued for any new build.

"If he's in violation, fines per day will commence," said Rogers.

"Let's get this taken care of," Wiepert told Rogers.

Next up, Ransomville Road resident Kendra Fells told of "cars flying through" a right-of-way on the 3600 block and asked the board what could be done, saying there was a safety issue for area children. Hillman reported the property in question was privately owned by multiple owners, and vehicles do cut through, including town vehicles. He said he would attempt to address it with the owners.

As part of its regular meeting, board members addressed a number of issues:

  • It put on hold a proposed public hearing on final drafts of the town's new zoning regulations, subdivision regulations and zoning map until August. Town Attorney Michael Dowd told the board a draft of the documents had been sent to Niagara County officials for review and the document still needed some reworking.
  • Dowd informed the board he expected to finalize by June 25 the authorizing of a bond anticipation note renewal of $295,000 to cover water line upgrade financing. The resolution was routinely approved soon after.
  • The town announced that grant writer Bernie Rotella submitted an application for $297,751 to the Greenway Commission for improvements at Porter-on-the-Lake Park. Included is funding for a stage, a blacktopped perimeter walking trail and playground equipment. The town's presentation to Greenway is Tuesday, July 20, at 3 p.m. at the Beaver Island State Park Casino on Grand Island.
  • The board announced that registration for the Porter Summer Recreation Program will be Wednesday and Thursday, June 30 and July 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Stevenson Elementary School in Ransomville. It went on to approve the summer hiring of 20 part-time recreational leaders for the program at a rate of $8.53 per hour. Wiepert reported that 15 were returning from last summer and five were new hires for the program.
  • The board approved a proposal from Lime Energy for interior lighting upgrades in the town highway garage. Estimated cost of the project is $10,542.13, which would see funding assistance of $4,792.65 from the National Grid Small Business program and $5,034.19 in town funding. Town Councilman Joe Fleckenstein reported the town's monthly payments would carry zero financing. The matter was approved soon after on a motion from Councilman Jeff Baker and Fleckenstein.
  • The board endorsed a resolution by Councilman Larry White, expressing the town's opposition to proposals by the New York Power Authority for construction of energy windmills on Lake Ontario waters off Niagara County. Letters were expected to be forwarded to NYPA and the Niagara County Legislature.
  • Wiepert reported sales taxes in the town for April 2010 (the latest available) were $83,589.63, an increase of $10,369.94 from last April.
  • The board endorsed a measure prepared by the Niagara County Legislature to the U.S. Navy, requesting release of a Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to honor Niagara County native Michael Huskey, who served during the Civil War. Once received, the military honor would be on display in the rotunda of the Niagara County Courthouse in Lockport.

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