By Benjamin Joe
At Monday’s board meeting, Village of Lewiston trustees approved many items of next summer’s Lewiston Council on the Arts schedule, but chose to table a resolution asking to host the “Summer of ’69” event in Hennepin Park over possible alcohol sales.
Events that did make the cut included concerts in Hennepin Park on Mondays throughout July and August, as well as a children’s mini-festival in Seneca “Bug” Park on July 11, 2020.
“We need to find out if they are going to be selling alcohol,” Trustee Daniel Gibson said before a vote on the “Summer of ’69” event. “There’s nothing on their application that addresses that. So, you might want to table that one.”
The decision was to hold off on the motion until the Lewiston Council on the Arts could provide information on whether or not alcohol sales would take place at that event.
The board also deliberated on the motion to allow the group to hold the annual Art Festival on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, because of possible alcohol sales, as well.
“We don’t have anything from them this year on that,” Mayor Anne Welch said. “So, I think we should just go ahead and approve it and, if they want liquor, they can come back for it.”
Larry Wills, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, also had a concern on the festival.
“Is there anything in the paperwork that says, what size Dumpster they’re going to use?” Wills said. “Because, for about three years now, we’ve been hearing about that. Come to find out, this year, that Modern actually gives them a Dumpster. They’re not even being charged for it. So, it started out as being this little, tiny Dumpster; and there were bags all over the place because the animals got into it, and it was all weekend. Then it went to a mid-size Dumpster. It’s still too full.”
Wills said he’d heard this year’s Dumpster would be a full-sized one, but asked the board if any official notice of such existed. The board voted on allowing the festival with the stipulation a 30-yard Dumpster be deployed for the event and all garbage must be picked up.
Following the meeting, The Sentinel reached out to the LCA for comment. In an email, Executive Director Irene Rykaszewski said, “We didn’t realize our requests were on the agenda so we did not attend.”
Academy Park Bleachers
The bleachers at Academy Park were scheduled to be taken down this fall, but will now be taken down in the spring to avoid upsetting the mortar for the VFW veterans monument.
“They were supposed to come down this week,” Welch said. “But because of the monument still being a bit fragile after the installation, they asked if we could wait till it’s more solid and in the ground. So, Harold Hibbard, who’d offered to take it down at no charge, said he’d come back and do it in the spring, also for no charge at all.
“With the concrete being blown up, and it being so close to the monument, they were afraid it would damage the monument.”
NU Offers Discounts to Village Employees
Niagara University stated in a letter it would offer a 25% discount to employees of the village, as well as their immediate family, for graduate-level work. The school also offered a $1,000 (a year) scholarship for the children or dependents of village employees who are already enrolled in the Niagara University MBA program.
Joe Leone, village attorney gave his insight on the matter.
“I took a look at this,” he said. “Because there’s always a question of public employees getting something for nothing, which is contrary to public office law. I looked at it, and I thought it was OK, because it’s not just giving to the village – it’s not singling out one village employee; it’s not singling out the mayor; the trustee or chief of police or someone else to act on it. It’s being offered to other public businesses, so I think it’s OK.”
Leone also got second and third opinions on the matter and said they were in agreement with his analysis.
The Village of Lewiston will celebrate Halloween in its usual manner. Trick-or-treaters are approved from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. In addition, the Recreation Department’s annual Halloween Party will take place between 6-8 p.m.
Trustees voted unanimously to allow Recreation Director Brendan McDermott to hire a Bounce-n-Around house for the party in the municipal gym.
Also, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce, the Lewiston Business Group and DiMino Lewiston Tops will host a trick-or-treat event on Center Street and throughout the village.
“They’re requesting a possible petting zoo during the day, and a performance at night,” Welch said.
The next Village Board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21.