Smith discusses plans for holiday ice rink at NU
By Terry Duffy
The return of Monday’s Lewiston Town Board monthly work session was brief but productive. With the Buffalo Bills “Monday Night Football” game approaching, members whisked through two public hearings and approved local laws; heard a presentation by the Lewiston Council on the Arts; and discussed plans for holiday ice rink activities.
The meeting led off with the public hearing to establish a local law establishing a six-month moratorium on new applications, approvals, and/or construction or installation of solar energy systems and/or solar farms. The purpose of is to amend the code to place a six-month moratorium on the processing, permitting and/or construction of ground-mounted solar panels and solar farms within the Town of Lewiston to allow time for the research, development and adoption of a solar overlay to the Town of Lewiston zoning code, together with any appropriate amendments to the Town of Lewiston solar code, which regulates these types of uses.
The local law would provide time to “give the Town Board the ability to complete all reasonable and necessary review, study analysis and, if warranted, revision to the Town of Lewiston Zoning Code as may be necessary to promote and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the Town of Lewiston and its residents.”
No public comments were offered. Local Law No. 2 went on to be approved by a 5-0 vote.
Soon after, a second public hearing, this one on a local law amending section a367-39-44 (water rates set) took place, again with no comments. The measure allows the Town Board to establish water rates for both in-district and out-of-district users. Local Law No. 3 was approved 5-0.
LCA representatives visited next, with Executive Director Maria Fortuna Dean, accompanied by Maureen Kellick and artist Dan Buttery, discussing plans for an Academy Park public art project. They seek Town Board support in submitting a funding application to the Niagara River Greenway.
Dean said, “The Lewiston Council on the Arts is seeking the support of the Town of Lewiston. We are creating a public art project, which was to start in Academy Park and continue down Center Street to the gazebo, and actually all the way down to the water.”
The project would feature both visual art and the metal artwork of Buttery, who recently completed a metal work project above Lewiston Landing on Water Street.
Dean said, “There are three components to the Lewiston Art project”: a mural at Academy Park, planned for all four sides of the comfort station; plans for a “Lewiston Living Outdoor Art Gallery” with a series of up to 10 large-scale outdoor frames that would be interchangeable and illuminated with special themes; and artistic benches on Center Street for the Discovery Niagara Shuttle stops in Academy Park at Eighth and Center streets, the village clock at Fifth and Center streets, and Lewiston Landing at Water and Center streets.
Town Supervisor Steve Broderick conveyed the town’s support as he presented a motion seeking $90,000 in Greenway funding for the estimated $180,000 project. Dean said the Village of Lewiston would be assisting the endeavor also, with plans to create a pathway in Academy Park from the corner of Ninth and Cayuga streets to the rest station, paving, and a plaza to connection to the nearby Upward Niagara Chamber of Commerce offices.
Town Board member John Jacoby voiced his support for the plan and further assisting visitors and riders via the shuttle service: “Aside from the artistic (merits), I see people standing out there all the time.”
Broderick’s motion, seconded by Councilman Bill Geiben, went on to be approved 5-0. He thanked the board for its support and quipped, “I warned Marie if she was longer for than a few minutes on the night of the Bills game she was not going to get funding.”
Tim Smith, who recently took over as Recreation Department director, updated the board on the town’s plans for the return of the holiday ice rink offering at Niagara University’s Dwyer Ice Arena.
“Niagara University has got us for 16 days for the open skate,” he said. “We are looking at sponsors for the nights of this. For the days, we’ll have several themes, which will include a Bills theme, a Disney theme to a disco night. So, we’re looking for local sponsor. We’ve had a few (thus far). We are looking at several themes; we’re looking to open it up, and we already have people who are going to sponsor those nights.”
Smith said plans revealed this week call for the holiday ice rink to operate from Friday, Nov. 24, to Friday, Jan. 26, 2024.
“We are working in collaboration with Niagara University to bring Lewiston residents the chance to skate at Dwyer Arena again,” a social media post stated.
More information on the holiday ice rink is expected as plans are finalized.