Town Board OKs new procurement policy
Article and Photo by Terry Duffy
With favorable spring weather finally at hand, recreation updates are topping the news for the Town of Lewiston.
The Town Board held an impromptu ribbon-cutting Thursday for its newest park property – the 66.9-acre Camp Stonehaven. Located on 4670 Albright Road at the tail end of Simmons Road, south of Ridge Road, this attractive nature preserve is now officially open for visitors – and Supervisor Steve Broderick encourages residents to stop by and check it out.
The town closed on the former Boy Scout camp property from the Boy Scouts of America in April and has been busy over past weeks getting it ready for visitors.
The purchase was made possible by a grant from the DEC Community Forest Conservation Grant and the Niagara River Greenway Ecological Fund.
Broderick said clearing of downed trees on the property has been underway, a new staffer was hired, and the town is planning to demolish some older structures and cabins the Scouts used for camping. He said the property, which includes scenic walking trails and a small fishing pond, is accessible for visitors.
“It’s a little bit on the rough side; it won’t be how we want the park to be eventually,” he said. “But the paths are safe and there’s no reason why people can’t go out there, walk it, enjoy it. I know people have already gone out there on their own; but it is town property now. We can officially open it.”
Broderick advised visitors that paths found on the property are intended for walking or hiking only – no motorized vehicles, including ATVs, are allowed in the preserve. He said visitors can use a small parking area found near the entrance off Albright Road (to the left) for vehicles.
•Continuing with recreation news, Broderick said the town’s other new offering – the Lower River Road Town Park – continues to make progress toward an opening in coming months. He said Highway/Parks Superintendent Mitch Zahno and work crews are busy putting the final touches on the lower riverside park.
“They’re filling the dirt, they’re seeding it; they’re eventually going to hydro-seed it some more,” Broderick said. “Hopefully, after that, we’ll be able to hold some events down there. We already have some rentals later in the year. It will be available for rent. I can’t put a date on it yet, but definitely by the first of July.
“It’s come a long way. We’ve ordered 10 park benches, and we’re waiting to hear when they’re going to be delivered. I’m excited about that. If anyone wants to take a drive down there … it’s beautiful.”
•Improved weather is now allowing the town’s youth baseball programs to become active, and the fields on Pletcher Road are increasingly busy with kids and families. Nicole Short, who has been handling Recreation Department duties as the town moves on naming its director, told the board that, thus far, programs are running smoothly.
“We had a rough weekend with the weather, but on Friday and Saturday nights the park was packed; the concessions were doing well,” Broderick reported. “There were three baseball cancellations on Friday night, but Saturday was spectacular. The first games of the season for our starter’s division went off without a hitch. For the first real night we were opened at Pletcher, the concessions went very well.
“Everyone seems very happy with the changes that we made this year.”
A Mother’s Day craft event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at Kiwanis Park. Candy Bar bingo is set for May 17 at the Pletcher pavilion.
In other news:
•The Town Board authorized Seaman Norris LLP to perform legal services “relative to conducting a comprehensive review and update of the Lewiston Town Code” as the town’s process gets underway.
•The board acted on a revised procurement policy for town purchases covering goods and services, as well as for public works areas.
“Our procurement policy, at $2,500 for goods and services and $5,000 for public works, seems to be on the low side. The cost of everything has gone up,” Broderick said.
Under the plan, town acquisition of goods and services of less than $4,000 will need department head approval; and goods and services of more than $4,000, but equal or less than $8,000, would need three oral quotes. Goods/services of more than $8,000, but equal or less than $20,000, would need three written or faxed quotes.
Public works related purchases of less than $8,000 will need department head approval, while public works purchases of more than $8,000, but less than $16,000, will need three oral quotes; and public works purchases of more than $16,000, but equal or less than $35,000, would need three written or faxed quotes.
Both resolutions were approved by the board without comment.