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Lewiston Police Department plans active shooter exercise
By Terry Duffy
Spring has definitely sprung in the Town of Lewiston, with news of a financial assistance effort for the village; updates on the “Hometown Heroes” program; and news on the Lower River Road Town Park, among the discussion items Monday with the Town Board.
Supervisor Steve Broderick hosted village trustees Vic Eydt and Tina Coppins. They discussed new electrical vehicle charging stations, and new LED colored Christmas lighting that would be coming to the village this year. That followed a recent visit by Broderick to the Village Board work session, where he announced New York Power Authority-related energy funding by the town to cover the costs of both projects.
Eydt said he expects the two new electrical chargers to cost $6,000 apiece, according to discussions he’s had with National Grid. As far as the Christmas lights, Eydt said the town’s assistance would enable the Department of Public Works to improve the holiday lighting displays and better work with the village’s streetscape design on Center Street. Eydt said he envisions bigger and brighter lights on Center Street, as well as surrounding Academy Park, and nearby on Portage and Cayuga streets.
“With the town’s relicensing agreement it has with the New York Power Authority, the town gets 6.5 megawatts of power to sell on the open market. We have money left over in the fund balance, and money could only be used on energy costs,” Broderick said.
He explained this funding could cover the costs of both the charging stations, as well the purchase of new holiday lighting displays.
“I would like to make a motion, that the town, through the relicensing agreement money, we pay for the two EV chargers at a cost of approximately $6,000 apiece, and the Christmas lights up to $20,000,” Broderick said. The motion was seconded by Councilman John Jacoby and approved soon after.
Broderick provided updates and formally announced the board’s support for the Town of Lewiston “Hometown Heroes,” under the direction of Historian Marjorie L. Maggard. The program is expected to debut this year.
Maggard has been working with the towns of Lewiston and Porter and the Village of Lewiston in establishing a way to honor veterans via banners hung on street poles.
Broderick said this accolade is available “for anybody that has served in the military and was honorably discharged.
“We have some members of the VFW here – they’re all for it. The Town of Niagara has a program now; I know some other communities have it now.”
He said, “We’re moving forward. We have ironed out every little wrinkle we had. And we’re going to put them in the town. We’re going to put them down Lower River Road from the village line. And we’re going to put them out Ridge Road to Creek Road, from the village line. And we’re also going to put them in Sanborn, on Buffalo Street, possibly 31 (Saunders Settlement Road). It all depends on have many we receive.”
Broderick said Maggard has received about 30 applications thus far. “So, what we did with the program is we took applications; we just didn’t take any money yet.”
He presented a motion to approve the “Hometown Heroes” program. Each banner costs $190. For more information on how to participate, call Town Hall at 716-754-8213.
Lower River Road Town Park
Next up came updates on the new Lower River Road Town Park across from the Lewiston Senior Center.
“As everyone sees, the park is really coming into its own,” Broderick said. “The pavilion is 100% done. We’re going to have crews down there doing some more seeding; we’re grading. We wanted to get in last year, (but) they didn’t finish the pavilion into well in November – it was too late. There will be a grill that will be installed down there.”
Focusing on the pavilion, Broderick said the town is planning for the installation of 10 picnic tables at the park, at a total cost of $17,250. “They’re heavy-duty, they’re beautiful picnic tables.”
Broderick said Parco Products of Toronto is handling the town’s order: “They’re a sole source” for this.
Councilman Rob Morreale said the new tables are durable and would be a fixture at the park for years to come.
“I was talking with Steve and he brought up a good point. These picnic tables weigh … around 400 pounds, so you won’t see them floating down the Niagara River when you’re in Youngstown. They’re very strong,” he said.
Broderick laughed and said, “Well, if they get them in the river, there will be fish under them, because they’ll be at the bottom of the river!”
He said he anticipates about a month for delivery, and that funding for the purchase is already budgeted.
In the meantime, Broderick said A-1 Landcare, which handled the pavilion construction, submitted a bid for six autumn blaze maple trees to be planted in the park at a cost of $2,460.
“It will be later this month, the prime time to plant trees; so, there will be six maple trees planted down there as well,” he said.
In other parks-related news, the town approved for two new recreation hires that begin work on May 10.
•Wrapping up, Broderick said the Niagara River Greenway Commission, which has been active in establishing a trails program in Lewiston and the River Region, would be establishing an “adopt-a-trail program,” where local organizations will be able to adopt a local trail on a one-month arrangement for cleanup and general maintenance.
“Local community organizations like Kiwanis, Lions … will adopt a trail once a month, clean it up. It’s just general maintenance work, like Adopt-a-Highway,” Broderick said.
Following endorsement by Town Attorney Al Bax, the board went on to formally adopt the Greenway agreement for the program.
For more information, or to participate, call Broderick’s office at Town Hall.
•The board gave its approval for the Lewiston Police Department to acquire a new service vehicle.
“I spoke with Councilman Jacoby and the supervisor about our vehicles, and the issues we have with our SROs, and the vehicle shortages – also with the increase of manpower,” LPD Chief Frank Previte said of the need for the $62,000 vehicle.
The board approved the request. The purchase is to be covered within the LPD’s budget appropriations.
Previte also reported on a joint active-shooter exercise LPD is planning to do with Niagara County.
“We would incorporate all the departments in the area for an active-shooter exercise,” he said. “We will be incorporating all the departments. It will be coming up in the summer at Niagara Wheatfield.”
Previte said he anticipates 10 departments participating in the exercise.
•Lewiston Senior Center Director Melinda Olick said the FeedMore WNY produce truck is off to good start with its Wednesday weekly visits to the center’s parking lot.
“Everyone and anyone can stop,” she said. “It’s parked in the Pletcher Road parking lot.”
The produce truck visits the Senior Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday.
“It’s really neat; you should check it out,” Olick said.
Town Clerk/Tax Collector Donna Garfinkel said the town’s annual stormwater report is now available for review on the town’s website. For more information, visit www.townoflewiston.us (under the Building Department page).