By Michael DePietro
At the Dec. 9 Lewiston Town Board meeting, the board approved a negative declaration for the land at 4358 Lower River Road following State Environmental Quality Review Act findings. The declaration maintains that, based on tests and reviews done at the project site, the proposed town development has been determined not to have significant adverse environmental impacts.
Last year, town officials approved a plan to develop the 5.6-acre plot of land owned by the town for the “Lower River Road Town Park.” The project was awarded $700,000 in funding from the Niagara River Greenway Commission’s Host Communities Standing Committee. The site area is located on the west side of Lower River Road, just north of the Stella Preserve.
Town Engineer Robert Lannon of GHD briefly summarized the project’s review process. A site characterization report was published earlier this year wherein four rounds of samples were collected (18 different samples in total) and signed off by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on two separate occasions.
Although the characterization report was met with criticism and additional testing was ordered for the area, results indicate that development of the site would pose no adverse health risks. In June, GHD environmental scientist Kathy Galente told the board she had no reservations about locating a park at that location.
In addition to environmental testing, a phase one archaeological survey recommended by the State Historic Preservation Office and conducted by Morton Archaeological Research Services determined there were no historical artifacts in the area.
Following the vote, Supervisor Steve Broderick said the town would look to hold a public informational meeting regarding the concept of the park. He said the meeting is expected to take place at the Town of Lewiston Senior Center, “hopefully by the end of January or the first week of February.”
Broderick said the date should be decided upon and announced at the Dec. 30 Town Board meeting.
The board approved four revisions for the 2019 budget as presented by Finance/Budget Director Jacqueline Agnello. The first was to move $30,503 police personnel budget to the Lewiston Police Department equipment budget to cover a new fingerprint scanner and bulletproof vests.
The second revision was to move $4,000 from the town Highway Department unemployment insurance personnel budget to the general repairs budget to cover expenses from utilizing personnel from other town departments. The third was to move $8,200 from the repairs safety and training contractual budget in the Highway Department budget to the general repairs/seasonal help and personnel budget to cover seasonal workers. $21,908 was transferred from the water transmission and distribution personnel budget, with $20,408 going to the water transmission and distribution equipment budget to cover the purchase of an upgraded water meter reading software system and an accompanying pad to read the software. Finally, $1,500 went to the water transmission distribution contractual budget to cover an annual maintenance fee.
The next Town Board/final audit meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30.
The Town Board will hold its reorganization meeting on Monday, Jan. 6, which will be followed by a work session. As such, there will be no work session meeting on Jan. 13.