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Town of Lewiston: Board hears on offensive flyers

Sat, Apr 1st 2017 07:35 am

Broderick expresses his displeasure

By Terry Duffy

Editor-in-Chief

As spring budget discussions occupy the mindset of both the Village of Lewiston and the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education, with the Town of Lewiston this week, it led off on quality of life matters - namely disturbing, offensive flyers appearing on driveways of residents in the village and town.

The Lewiston Police Department reported that, on Wednesday and Thursday, March 22-23, it received numerous reports of racist, white supremacist flyers being distributed at residences on the 800 block of Mohawk Street, on Chicora Road, and on Lower River Road. Roughly 10 to 20 residences were targeted.

Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said the flyers contained material targeting illegal immigration and in support of "White Lives Matter" causes. But beyond the actual distribution, which he described as a littering offense, there wasn't anything criminal in the act.

"Nothing ... that advocates or threatens any violence of any kind," Previte said to local news sources over the past week.

Still, upon a directive from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Police was ordered to investigate the incident further.

Police said the individual, identified as Horace Scott Lacy, was originally from Texas and is now reportedly living in the town. He was interviewed by LPD officers earlier this week, but has not been charged. He remains under investigation by State Police, Lewiston Police and the Niagara County District Attorney's office.

Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick, like many in the community, conveyed his displeasure upon hearing the news.

"There was an incident that occurred partly out in the town and in the village this past weekend. To me it sent out a message of hate," Broderick said at Monday's Lewiston Town Board meeting. He is also a supervisor with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office. "And I want to say that personally, and I believe I can speak for the board: We do not tolerate any message of hate; we don't condone it. There's an agenda that's out there by this individual, who happens to be a convicted felon from Texas; he's a member of the Aryan Race. And I want to say I don't condone it; this Town Board or the town does not condone this type of action."

Hydropower Update

In other news Monday, Town Finance Officer Marti Blazick provided some updates on the status of New York Power Authority hydropower reimbursement provided money to the town over past years - including the status of the much-discussed residential electrical rebates.

"I know there have been some questions in the past," Blazick said. "For the Power Authority, we had tentatively set a 2015 plan (covering town expenditures and issuing the rebates), which was based on projections of what our energy costs would be."

Included in that package for '15 were improvement costs factored in for the wastewater treatment plant and a new roof for the Lewiston Senior Center (both now complete), which Blazick said delayed the determining of remaining hydropower money available to the town.

"Those projects were done," she said, "but they went over the year-end" for the 2015 plan.

She said NYPA hydropower money allocated for 2015 covered those projects, as well the electrical rebate money intended for residents, but she also reminded board members that future rebates are now history.

Blazick said that, with the Town Board authorizing a town tax last fall, "The board decided that money coming in (from NYPA) was no longer to be allocated to the residents anymore. It was going to be for the town benefit, simply because you're taxing them, and (for any intended rebate funds) 'it's in and out.' "

"The (rebate) funds are so low, we're not even covering our own electrical," she said. "This (2016) plan does reflect that."

Blazick said that, for 2016 hydropower, "revenues were way down" and, as a result, the town did not initiate any new projects using this NYPA money. It instead used the funding as reimbursements for the town's own energy consumption.

"It just zeroed out," Blazick said. For 2016, she noted the town started with a new (hydropower money plan).

Blazick provided the final version of the electrical rebates for town residents, which she said totals $1,085,297.61 in rebate funds.

"We do still have the Town of Lewiston and their expenditures, as well as the residential electric users," Blazick said. "That money is still allocated for them. ... I'm trying to confirm all their pieces, and hopefully we can start moving forward on that.

"That money is set aside for them. It can't be touched. It's there," for residential electric rebates.

Blazick said she did not wish to provide a timeline for the actual issuing refund checks going to residents.

"We're just trying with all our might to get those started and mailed out," she said.

Blazick explained she was in the process of preparing a 2017 NYPA hydropower plan - "one which moves forward" on covering town expenditures only.

Town Board members went on to approve Blazick's 2015-16 NYPA hydropower plan, for final submission to NYPA. They then OK'd her to begin the actual disbursement process of checks to residential power users, once the town establishes a designated bank account.

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