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Eydt named deputy mayor
Residents strongly encouraged to have water meter head replaced
By Joshua Maloni
The Village of Lewiston Board of Trustees held its reorganizational meeting on Monday. Mayor Anne Welch announced the following appointments for the new fiscal year:
•Vic Eydt will serve as deputy mayor.
Now in his third term as trustee, Eydt is the senior board member.
“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “I’ve done quite a bit for this village, as far as different things behind the scenes. And I work well with Anne. We kind of think a little bit alike. We work off each other. I throw her ideas, and she throws ideas to me.”
Eydt is currently planning a large-scale fundraiser for the inclusive playground behind Marilyn Toohey Park. Over the course of his first two terms, Eydt worked extensively on updating the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
Welch explained she will rotate this position, as former Mayor Richard Soluri did in his later years in office.
“Claudia (Marasco’s) had it for a year, and we’re switching it up. Vic’s going to take it for a year,” Welch said.
She added, “Claudia’s done a phenomenal job. We’ve worked closely together. We do our walks on Center talking to people; and she’s helped me out a lot. Now we’re going to turn it over to you, Vic.”
Marasco said, “It’s been an honor and a privilege for me to represent the village as deputy mayor. I think I might’ve been the first woman deputy mayor.”
Welch confirmed that was true.
“It’s a wonderful experience for me, and I know that the guys – when I first came aboard – supported me,” Marasco said.
“Vic’s going to do an awesome job and we’re going to continue to move this village forward, and we’re going to work in a really positive way,” she added.
•Joseph Leone was reappointed as law counsel for the next year.
“Our attorney was been terrific this year,” Welch said. “It’s been great working with him. … He’s a done great, especially with the Frontier House (sale).”
•Nussbaumer & Clarke was reappointed as the village’s engineering firm for 2019-20.
“(Engineer) Mike (Marino), he’s been great for the village. We got a lot done. He’s been challenged with our waterfront this year, but everybody has that challenge. Hopefully, once the water recedes, we’ll see that finished. It’s going to be a beautiful waterfront.”
•Building Inspector Kenneth Candella also will serve as zoning officer for a one-year term.
“Kenny has been zoning officer before, as well as building inspector,” Welch said. “He has all the schooling for it. He knows the code inside out with all the years that he’s been here. I appreciate him taking the zoning officer duties back, even though it's a lot to do both.”
•Shannon Fundis was appointed deputy clerk, and Stephanie Myers deputy treasurer – both for a one-year term.
•Russ Piper will continue on as historian for 2019-20.
•Fire Inspector Barry Beebe was reappointed for another one-year term.
•Planning Commission Chairman Norman Machelor was re-upped for another year, while Doreen Albee and Tasia Fitzpatrick will serve on this board until 2021.
•Jim Fittante (Historic Preservation Commission), Richard Portale, Michael Swanson and Neal Pignatora (Zoning Board of Appeals) each were granted a five-year appointment to their respective boards. Pignatora is replacing Glenn Clark.
•Denise Mess, Colleen Swavy, Joseph Marra and alternate Stephanie Gruarin received a two-year term for the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board.
•KeyBank will be the official Village of Lewiston depository for fiscal year 2019-20.
•Clerk/Treasurer Amy Salada will remain registrar, with Myers serving as deputy registrar.
•The Lewiston-Porter Sentinel will continue to be the Village of Lewiston’s official newspaper.
Trustees also approved a motion establishing the Village Board’s regular meeting dates: 6 p.m. on the first Monday of each month, October through May 2020; and the third Monday of each month year-round, save January and February 2020, when business will be conducted on the third Tuesday. Meetings take place inside the Morgan Lewis Village Boardroom on the second floor of the Red Brick Municipal Building, 145 N. Fourth St.
The Niagara Falls Country Club will have a fireworks display at 10 p.m. Saturday. Trustees approved a motion allowing NFCC use of the plateau area by Richard F. Soluri Park.
Water Meter Fine?
Residents who haven’t had a water meter head replaced may face a penalty later this summer. Trustees are considering imposing a monetary fine or temporarily halting service.
The Department of Public Works began replacing water meter heads in late January. Six-plus months later, only about 650 out 1,300 homes have been serviced.
Superintendent Terry Brolinski said it’s a question of manpower, which results in added cost to the village.
With the new meter head technology, “(We) read 600 meters in less than 20 minutes,” Brolinski said. “Right now, we’re moving out to two, almost three weeks to read meters on the old side. That’s knocking on doors and everything. … We get this whole meter system in, we could be done in less than a half a day. Probably an hour.”
“We’re losing money,” Eydt said.
“Please, just give us five minutes; we’re in and out, and it’s done,” Welch said.
“We go in, we take the old one off, we take the transponder out, the base stays there – it’s just getting a new head, and we’re out the door,” Brolinski said.
“What people have to understand is we could’ve done a whole new meter, which would’ve cost a lot of money, which we could’ve put onto the homeowner,” Welch said. “We just are doing the heads on them, which is so much cheaper to do – the village is absorbing the cost. We’re trying to do what’s right for the residents, without charging them.
“Just let us in. It takes five minutes.”
To make an appointment, call the clerk’s office at 716-754-8271.