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Lewiston: VFW hoping to have new monument built, unveiled in 2019

by jmaloni
Sat, Dec 22nd 2018 07:00 am
An artist's rendering of the VFW memorial set to be installed inside Academy Park. (Rendering courtesy of Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487)
An artist's rendering of the VFW memorial set to be installed inside Academy Park. (Rendering courtesy of Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487)

Village Board to dump fines on habitual grease trap offenders

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

The Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees endorsed a plan to build a “circle of honor” in Academy Park. Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487 is raising funds to redo the monument area.

Board members on Monday unanimously approved a motion in support of Greenway allocations for the project. Their proclamation read, in part, “The Village of Lewiston has proudly provided its property at Academy Park to honor local veterans who have courageously served in defending our freedoms. … The current memorial, created and jointly maintained by Lewiston’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Downriver Post 7487 and the Village of Lewiston, is in need of improvements that will enhance the readability of the veterans’ names, create a safer and more prominent eternal flame, and upgrade the memorial’s presence as a place of honor and distinction. … It is the goal of the VFW to have Lewiston host one of the most distinctive small-town veterans’ memorials in America by featuring the eternal flame, which has been generously donated by the Village of Lewiston, along with a large granite circular platform that will highlight the honor stones and create a new ‘circle of honor.’ …

“The Village of Lewiston believes that the ‘circle of honor’ is well deserving of Niagara River Greenway funds to help complete the project.”

VFW Post 7487 will petition the Town of Lewiston to sponsor a Greenway funding application.

VFW member Vince Canosa told trustees the “circle of honor” will replace the existing monuments. The area will be completely flat, allowing greater access to the memorials, and will include new landscaping. Moreover, the motion noted, “In an effort to be more inclusive and to ensure that no veteran’s service is forgotten, the VFW has modified its policy to allow names on the memorial to include any and all veterans who have been born in Lewiston, or lived, attended school or worked in Lewiston, and who have served our community and our country since the American Revolution.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing it,” Mayor Anne Welch said of the “circle of honor.”

“It sounds like a great plan,” Deputy Mayor Claudia Marasco said.

Trustee Vic Eydt asked for an update on the project’s status. Canosa said he’s collected about $32,000 to date, and funding applications are in to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, Assemblyman Angelo Morinello and New York State Sen. Robert Ortt. The VFW also contacted local financial institutions and philanthropists.

“I think, God willing, that probably we will actually close this thing before our designated date,” Canosa said.

Following the meeting, Canosa said the total project cost could be upward of $200,000. He explained it will take six months for the “circle of honor” to be built and installed. Canosa said the VFW is hopeful to have the memorial area up and open for Veterans Day 2019.

With regard to honoring the fallen, Canosa said, “So far, I’ve actually collected 80 new names, from people all the way across the United States that have ties to Lewiston – as far away as California, Florida and Texas.”

The “circle of honor” was included in the village’s recent conceptual renovation plan for Academy Park.

 

Targeting Grease Trap Offenders

At recent meetings, Department of Public Works Superintendent Terry Brolinski has reminded board members that some restaurateurs are ignoring the grease trap ordinance.

Instead of summarily dumping grease down the drain, eateries are required to have a grease trap. When grease isn’t properly disposed of, it collects other debris in its liquid form, and then clogs pipes when it hardens. The result can be wastewater backups in nearby homes and businesses. When this happens, the DPW is called in to unclog the mess.

“Our residents shouldn’t have to pay for that,” Marasco said.

To ensure grease trap compliance, the village intends to recoup any costs incurred by the department. Welch is sending out a letter to restaurant owners that reads, in part, “Due to the recent sewer backups, and plugged sewer lines caused by the discharge of grease into the sanitary sewer lines from businesses, the owner will be charged for the cost of the grease removal and cleaning of the sewer lines when the next backup occurs. It currently costs $1,600-plus every time the DPW has to clear the sanitary sewer lines, and the workers have to leave whatever job they are working on to clear the lines so it doesn’t back up into your establishment.

“The DPW is able to identify which business the grease is coming from with a sewer camera, so there is no confusion as who is at fault.

“The grease also causes more problems at the Town of Lewiston Sewer Treatment Plant, because even though the village lines may be cleared, the grease solidifies again when it gets to the sewer plant. This can be avoided with routine maintenance of your grease traps and strict adherence to the disposal of grease.

“If the grease problems from your business persist, fines will also be assessed.

“The DPW will be conducting inspections during the month of January 2019 to make sure your grease trap is working correctly and that you are performing routine maintenance.”

In other DPW news:

•The department is no longer vacuuming up leaves roadside, as equipment was switched over for snow removal. Residents must now bag their leaves and place them with other trash.

•Garbage collection will take place as usual over the holiday weeks.

•Per village law, there is no parking on municipal streets from 2-6 a.m., so as to allow the DPW unfettered access to remove snow when necessary.

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