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Guest Editorial by Deputy Mayor Vic Eydt
It is almost spring, and the Village Board and myself have been working hard this past winter on many projects. We have been navigating the many agencies and government red tape to bring you this community update.
The largest hurdles to the many projects are getting other government permissions and financing for these projects. I am proud to announce that, with the coordination of our village engineer and village Department of Public Works, we have awarded an official bid to pursue the first phase of a three-phase work replacement project on North Ninth Street.
The first phase – replacing the existing old and broken waterline on North Ninth Street to Mohawk – has a cost of $310,000, including engineering fees. This project is funded by the federal stimulus funds and the $10 miscellaneous fees collected on the quarterly water bills. Without that $10 allotment, we would not be in a position to start work next month.
Our goal is to have the new water lines completed by June, at which time the DPW will repave the entire street. Residents on Ninth Street will be contacted in the near future to coordinate with the general contractor, DJM Contracting Inc.
Phase two is to bring an alternate water source into the village from Ridge Road, under the parkway, to the corner of Ninth and Center streets. Our engineer and I have been coordinating with the county to tie this line into an existing line on Ridge Road. We have applied for New York state grant funding twice in the past two years, with the estimated cost of $1.2 million. Both grants have been passed over, but the Village of Lewiston is applying for numerous other possible grants.
Phase three is in the planning and design stage to replace water lines in our most vulnerable areas of the northern portions of the village.
Another project I have been working on, which will start in the next month, will be to totally refurbish the restrooms at Academy Park. These restrooms have been in disrepair for years. Assemblyman Angelo Morinello secured a $50,000 grant to repair and renovate the restrooms. Additional financing for this project will be made possible through village funds.
The village has also received funding to install two electric vehicle charging stations on South Ninth Street near the Chamber of Commerce office, and another one on the corner of Center Street and North Water Street, across from our fish-cleaning station.
Another project starting this spring – and funded through phase five of our New York State Department of State Coastal Resources Program – is to completely renovate our fish-cleaning station with all-new, up-to-date fish-grinding capability, and adding two ADA restrooms in the existing building; plus, new staircases, along with a new picnic pavilion on the river, replacing the pavilion that was destroyed during the river flooding in 2017. This will enhance our Lewiston Landing Waterfront Park and the new marina at the river.
Our new DPW garage is under construction and should also be completed by June. This will allow all our equipment to be stored out of the weather when not in use, and extend the equipment life for years.
We are also planning to upgrade our main electric in the village municipal building. This will allow us to install new heat and AC equipment, and to lower our existing electricity costs. This past fall, we were able to replace our over-35-year-old steam boiler with a new, up-to-date, efficient boiler. We have already seen positive results on our heating bill – even with the recent increase in gas prices.
The board is working on the redevelopment of Academy Park. Removing the old bleachers and relocating the bandshell has made a significant difference. Plans for a large pavilion and electrical upgrade are in the works. The shelter will be available for the entire community to enjoy, and to make our park more cohesive and more user-friendly.
There will be more information regarding Academy Park in the near future.
These projects, along with numerous other projects in the village, would not be possible without the work, cooperation and financial backing of our village officials, Garden Club/Beautification, volunteers, businesses and residents. None of these projects would be able to be possible without the understanding and cooperation of the Village Board, our great office staff, DPW, boards and commissions.
We will keep on working to make Lewiston a great place to call home. In the meantime, look for these upcoming projects.