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Lewiston Town Board discusses preliminary 2023 budget, NIMAC visit, ice rink

Fri, Sep 30th 2022 07:00 am

Board to review LMK local law request at Oct. 13 session

By Terry Duffy


Lewiston Town Board members had an active session Monday. Included in their discussions was the 2023 proposed town budget; a public hearing on a revised site plan for the LMK Realty Associates’ Northridge Drive proposed subdivision; a presentation by the Niagara Military Affairs Council; and this season’s plans for the Lewiston Family Ice Rink in Academy Park.

•Town Finance Director Jacqueline A. Agnello submitted a 2023 preliminary budget totaling $19,005,947 to the board. It reflects an increase of $796,512 over last year’s adopted budget of $18.209 million. Broken down, the plan calls for $12,719,780 in appropriations, reflecting town department requests. Included are: A fund, Lewiston general – $2,870,869; B fund, Lewiston general/outside village – $3,616,534; DB, highway/drainage-town outside village – $3,784,271; and SS1, Water Pollution Control Center – $2,448,106. The budget calls for $926,785 to be raised by taxes.

Under special districts, the proposed $6,286,167 plan includes: S10, French Landing drainage – $5,350; SF, fire protection – $1,531,633; SL, Lewiston Heights gas – $13,000; SR, refuse-Lewiston O/S village – $397,500; SS2 Lewiston MSIA – $1,553,451; SS3, Lewiston south sewer IA – $152,138 and SW1, Lewiston water improvement – $2,633,095. The budget forecasts $3,223,575 to be raised by taxes.

It also includes following salaries for the town’s elected officials: highway superintendent – $76,310; town clerk – $66,500.

Supervisor Steve Broderick’s salary ($45,567) reflects a waiver equal to $10,567 for an annual total of $35,000. Broderick, who is retired from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, offered some clarity with respect to the differential that came as the result of state salary adjustments covering retirements during the pandemic.

“Right now, the governor has waived a limit on retirement, so, I am currently collecting the entire salary,” he said. “But next year we don’t know if we are going to be continuing that or not. So, I’ll be absolutely clear on that. So, right now I am getting the full salary.”

Others included in the town’s 2023 schedule of salaries are the two town justices – $29,791 each; and four town members – $15,006 apiece.

“I want to give Jacque a lot of credit – it’s a solid budget,” Broderick said. “Jacque spent a lot of weekends here. … I appreciate everything you’ve done. Hopefully, it will go smooth.”

Review Sessions

•The town announced it would hold budget reviews with department heads from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at Town Hall. The all-day sessions include fire inspector – 9-9:30 a.m.; seniors – 9:40-10:10 a.m.; water – 10:20-10:50 a.m.; sewer – 11-11:30 a.m.; and highway/parks – 11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

Following lunch, the reviews continue with police – 12:50-1:20 p.m.; safety/storm – 1:30-2 p.m.; recreation – 2:10-2:40 p.m.; clerk – 2:45-3:15 p.m.; assessors – 3:20-3:50 p.m.; and justices – 4-4:30 p.m.

 All sessions are open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Residential Lots

•Monday’s meeting opened with a public hearing consider enactment of a local law to change the zoning designation of residential lots on Northridge Drive from R-1 (one-family use districts) to PUD (planned unit development) to enable construction of a new subdivision by LMK Realty Associates.

As reported in the Aug. 26 Tribune-Sentinel, LMK is seeking to build 10 additional units on Northridge Drive that would be adjacent to its existing apartment complexes. The area is located just north of Ridge Road, is currently vacant and wooded, and adjoins existing private residences.

Neighbors Opposed

Similar to a public hearing held last month, the session saw opposition by neighboring residents. John Merniak accused the Town Board of being selective in favor of developers when it came to zoning changes.

“The Town Board needs to be consistent,” the resident said, telling board members that other requests for zoning changes have not been granted.

Mike Rosman of Scovell Drive questioned the long-term benefit for the immediate area from the proposed project.

“What point is it enough?” he asked.

Rosman said he feels development has already disrupted the neighborhood. He questioned long-term maintenance plans for the area.

Resident Sam Ricotta agreed. He commented, “Too much development is going on.”

The resident also raised issue with ongoing concerns over traffic impacts.

No action was taken on the matter that night. Broderick later announced the town would make a final decision on the LMK request at its session on Thursday, Oct. 13.


In other news:

•The Town Board heard a presentation by the Niagara Military Affairs Council, which visited to provide an annual update on its work to safeguard the continuing operations of the Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Station. Board members learned more on the value of the NFARS, the economic impact of its 3,000 employees, and NIMAC’s ongoing efforts to secure its future in the face of government Base Realignment and Closure discussions.

•Councilman Bill Geiben provided an update on what may be going on with the Lewiston Family Ice Rink.

“I talked with the mayor (Anne Welch) about the ice rink and, at this point, they do not have a solid plan as to what is going to happen in the village,” he said.

Geiben explained questions remain as to the rink’s location in the park, the village’s long-term plans for the site, and how the town’s involvement would be factored in.

“We have to make a decision ourselves whether or not we want to move forward; whether we’re using the site from last year; and what’s our direction,” Geiben said.

Broderick said, “I think we have to make an absolute decision on that by the next board meeting. I would like to make a decision by then. We need to sit down and have a meeting with them.”

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