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Town of Lewiston updated on reassessments

Fri, Apr 19th 2024 07:00 am

Town OK’s 6-month solar moratorium

By Terry Duffy


Lewiston Town Board members heard more on upcoming reassessment plans with the Town of Porter, at the board’s work session last week.

Town Assessor Linda E. Johnson said GAR Appraisal, the town’s designated real estate appraisal and analysis firm it contracted with Porter, would be handling commercial properties first before moving on to residential reviews.

The reassessments would cover said properties in both the Town and Village of Lewiston. Town Board members approved a $485,000 contract that evening with GAR, with funding to come from the town’s “A” fund that covers town/village accounts.

Johnson said GAR would be working with the town in a PR effort for the commercial and residential properties throughout the process, which is expected to be complete by 2026.

“There will be public relations with the public, the real estate agents, with the taxpayers, to explain how this is going to go about,” she said.

Johnson noted this would entail various surveys throughout the process with a final reassessment update expected to be completed in 2026. Further information on this process as it develops will be posted on the town website, www.townoflewiston.us, under the assessor’s office link.

In other news from the session:

•The town said it would be taking no action on Local Law No. 1 for 2024, the short-term rentals law.

“(Councilwoman) Sarah (Waechter) and I have been working with our attorney, Mr. (Al) Bax (on this matter) said Councilman John Jacoby said. “And we’re not going to take any action tonight.”

Jacoby said that, when the board held its public meeting, it took a lot of input it needs to further its review. “Every time you incorporate something new, it drags over and affects something else. We’re working on this diligently.”

In a related matter, the board approved Local Law No. 2 by a unanimous vote, providing for a six-month moratorium on solar installations in the town.

•The town approved a supplemental agreement covering a 30-year period with the Army Corps of Engineers for future work at the Niagara Falls Storage Site on Pletcher Road.

“We were contacted by the Department of the Army that our supplemental agreement had expired on Dec. 1,” Supervisor Steve Broderick said. “We attended a meeting (with the Army Corps) this past week on the cleanup. It is a good thing to get rid of that area down there and what’s in it.”

Broderick said the town’s approval of the agreement merely allows the Army Corps continued access to the property to do its work.

Bax said, “This particular document extends their ability to service and subservice, testing (at the site). It’s really kind of an addendum; it doesn’t necessarily modify the rights.

“Right now, what (the Army Corps is) saying is their ability to continue the testing has expired, and they just want something in writing to authorize it on their property, and also the vicinity property that belongs to the town.”

On a question from a resident, Bax said the municipality may consider a transfer of the town’s vicinity property, formerly a water plant facility, back to the federal government to allow for any needed future work to be done at there by the Army Corps.

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