By Terry Duffy
Lewiston Town Board members minus Councilman Al Bax held a rather routine session on Monday.
Newsmakers saw the board accepting a community fundraiser donation to assist the just concluded Lewiston Family Ice Rink operations, a commitment of town funding to assist the Discover Niagara Shuttle for its 2018 operations year, and discussion for a proposed charging station to service electronic vehicles operated by the town.
"Last month Water Street Landing (and) Deal Realty sponsored a comedy show, 'Comedy Night,' " said Town Parks and Recreation Director Michael Dashineau at a lead-off presentation with Lewiston businessman Tom Deal of Deal Realty and Jerry Aguilaro of Water Street Landing. "The proceeds were all donated back to the Lewiston Ice Rink and its operations."
As he accepted a check of $1,050 from the two businessmen, Dashineau said Water Street Landing would be participating in additional fundraising endeavors to benefit community programs over the course of this year.
The next one will be 6 p.m. Saturday, March 10, where Water Street will be holding a Comedy Night fundraiser to benefit the programs of HART of Lewiston (Home Assistance Referral Team). The evening is expected to feature the talents of three of Buffalo's best young comedians, including Allie Brady a film and TV freelancer and staffer of the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Tickets are $25 for admission to the event, with a $10 discount off your food bill for the night. Dinner will be served from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with the Comedy Night to go from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the HART office, 716-754-8313, via email to Lisa.Lannon@heartprogram,org
, and at Water Street Landing and The Delaware Pub and Grill in Buffalo.
Other news from the board session included discussions on the town's approving of $55,000 in funding to assist the Discover Niagara shuttle. The Lewiston commitment follows earlier similar approvals by Niagara County, the New York Power Authority and the City of Niagara Falls to assist the spring-summer mobile tourism offering operated by the Niagara National Falls Heritage Area.
"The Discover Niagara Shuttle, they're looking for the town to support them with Greenway money," said Supervisor Steve Broderick as he opened discussion. "We supported them last year; I would like to make a motion to support them again this year."
Broderick said the measure would be for up to $55,000 in Greenway funding, which will include $50,000 for Discover Niagara operations. Also "up to $5,000 for advertising in making a promotional video for the town and the village or will be shown on the buses as they come into Lewiston," he said.
Broderick said money for the town's Shuttle funding in 2018 would come from the Niagara River Greenway Host Committee, as the Greenway Standing Committee approved the town's funding requests as being consistent last year. The motion went on to be approved unanimously, with members voicing their support for the funding.
"When I was out of town, I was riding transportation and they had these videos, consistently in other communities, which were excellent," said Councilman Bill Geiben. "Short, succinct, straight to the punch."
Councilman Rob Morreale continued with positive comments.
"Before this even got off the ground I was very instrumental (on this)," he said. "The whole object of it ... is to try to keep people on this side of the falls; show them what we offer. I think a lot of them are surprised," said Morreale of tourists' reactions.
He said he discussed 2018 operations with Niagara Falls National Heritage Area Executive Director Sara Capen and added a new pickup location this year will be at the entrance to Goat Island, and the Shuttle would be shortening its service season, as well.
"No reason for October to go up and down Lower River Road with nobody on them. The tourist season ends in September. I still think it's a good idea," said Morreale.
He added, "I did stress this will be our last year (for funding). I said that Lewiston will support that, so they will be looking at other funding after this year."
Broderick said the Shuttle would be adding two stops in Lewiston this year - one in the village, the other at the Stella Preserve.
Councilman John Jacoby called the Shuttle's plan "a perfect fit."
In other news the board discussed, but took no action on a charging station proposal under consideration to service town-owned electronic powered vehicles. The $21,634 project, funded by the state Department of Environmental Conservation Zero-Emission's Vehicle (ZEV) Clean Vehicle Infrastructure Rebate Program, would see a station on the east side of Town Hall built to service town electronic vehicles. Cost to the town would be $4,000 under the grant proposal. Board members were generally in support of the program, with Geiben suggesting another charging station be considered, preferably in the village to service the community.
Morreale called the suggestion "a win-win."
"It's a logical approach," said Geiben. He suggested the Town Board discuss the matter with the Village Board of Trustees at its joint town-village meeting this year (date/time of session still to be announced).
With a DEC grant application due at the end of March, the measure was tabled Monday, with further action anticipated at the board's March 12 work session.
Also on the agenda for March 12 is a 6 p.m. public hearing on the town's proposed Solar Energy System Law, and a 6:15 public hearing on a site plan review for Mount St. Mary's Hospital.