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Lewiston Police Department to pursue strictest punishments under law
√ STR deadline nears
√ Cemetery ceremony on Sunday
By Joshua Maloni
Village of Lewiston trustees were livid Monday, recounting how the bathroom outside the inclusive playground at Marilyn Toohey Park was vandalized over the weekend – and not for the first time.
“It was so bad. … I’m just so disgusted,” Mayor Anne Welch said.
Inside the bathroom, the baby-changing station was ripped apart, and feces were left in the sink and spread across the floor.
“It’s sad, because the mothers bring their kids here and change them,” Welch said.
“We might have to put a (security) camera right outside the door,” Trustee Tina Coppins said.
Right now, there are cameras posted outside the Red Brick Municipal Building, directly across from the playground.
The Lewiston Police Department is reviewing footage from those recording devices.
Following the meeting, LPD Chief Frank Previte said, “We will be following up on anything that we have concerning that. We do have resources, as well, because there's cameras in the area, as far as identifying whoever's responsible for it. And whoever is responsible for it, depending on the total amount that we get, it's at least a misdemeanor – which is chargeable. We're going to charge, whether it's a juvenile or an adult, the same. Depending on the dollar amount, it could be a felony.”
He added, “What we get is a lot of times – which can be frustrating – on these social media sites, afterwards, we'll get, ‘Oh yeah, there was kids there,’ this and that, but yet, nobody calls when it's actually going on. So, that's another thing that we need, as well, because, obviously, we're in the area. There are police that drive by, and we do patrol the area, as well. When there's kids around, and groups of kids when there shouldn't be, or in places that they shouldn't be, then that's when we need to kind of rely on the public to assist us.”
Village of Lewiston Mayor Anne Welch said that, despite more than three-quarters-of-a-million-dollars in renovations to Marilyn Toohey, individuals have still chosen to vandalize the bathroom on more than one occasion.
Security cameras are set on that inclusive playground.
New fencing will enclose the basketball court area adjacent to the parking lot.
Fencing to Extend Around Playground
In other playground news:
•Welch said Fox Fence provided an estimate to further fence the outdoor play area.
Board members said cars have pulled onto the basketball court and up to the pavilion, creating a need to add a new, L-shaped fence at the foot of the parking lot, further shielding patrons.
The cost is said to be in the $7,000 range. A neighbor is donating $5,000 to the project. The remaining fees will be paid from the funds of the Ridge Street “Big Yellow House” sale.
“I think it’s important that we do this quickly, because the safety factor here is really important,” Welch said.
Trustees voted to approve this transaction.
Vehicles are not permitted beyond the parking lot.
•The splash pad will officially open this weekend.
Metro Creative Graphics
Village of Lewiston Issues Reminder on Short-Term Rentals
The clerk’s office reminds residents with short-term rentals that the deadline for inspections is drawing near.
Correspondence was sent out that states, “This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for calling to schedule your first Short Term Rental Building and Fire Inspections is June 1, 2023. Initial inspections shall be completed by July 1, 2023. If you no longer plan to operate your property as a short-term rental, please send an email or written document stating such. Also, if more time is needed to schedule your initial inspection, please contact the Clerk’s office to discuss the circumstances in which you would need to ask for approval for an extension.
“As always, please contact the Clerk’s office, or send me an email if you have any questions.”
To make an appointment, call 716-754-8271 or email [email protected].
Clerk Shannon Fundis said most STR operators “have complied and are following the rules,” but a handful still have not made an appointment. If renters fail to adhere to the new municipal law, “the code enforcer will be issuing a cease and desist, and a $1,000 fine.”
Welch said, “June 1 is the deadline, and there will be fines if they are not compliant.”
The STR fee schedule is as follows:
√ Application for short-term rental, $50
√ Building inspection fee, $250
√ Fire inspection fee, $250
√ Annual fee for short-term rental, $500
Dedication of Historical Cemetery Plaque
Village Historian Russ Piper will join Welch and Tom Collister of the Historical Association of Lewiston on Sunday for a 1 p.m. ceremony unveiling a new bronze historical plaque “outlining the history of the Lewiston Village Cemetery” in the Oakwood section behind the old church (under the oak trees). The Rev. Joyce Serianni will officiate.
Piper said, “This is my second project relating to Lewiston's vast history. A salute to the veterans who repose within the grounds will be honored by Downriver Post 7487 VFW honor guard, to accompany the laying of the wreath in honor of all those who repose in the cemetery grounds.
“At this time, I will be acknowledging those who helped me to make this project a reality, and those who assisted me in other ways to make this possible.
“I welcome everyone to come and be witness to this solemn event.”
Around the Village of Lewiston
•Tops Starbucks Temporarily Closed: The Starbucks at DiMino’s Lewiston Tops is temporarily closed due to staffing changes, but will reopen on July 4 weekend.
•Center Street Striping: Village of Lewiston Department of Public Works Superintendent Larry Wills said Center Street traffic pattern changes witnessed Wednesday were the result of restriping the roadway.