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Lewiston Riverfront Park renderings by GHD
Lewiston Riverfront Park renderings by GHD

Greenway Host Community awards funding for Academy Park pavilion, Lewiston Riverfront Park, Five Senses Park

by jmaloni
Fri, Mar 22nd 2024 11:00 am

By Terry Duffy


The Niagara River Greenway’s Host Communities Standing Committee unanimously approved funding requests for two Lewiston projects and one in the Town of Wheatfield at a meeting on Tuesday.

The session opened with remarks by Town of Lewiston Supervisor Steve Broderick on plans by the Village of Lewiston for the $350,000 Academy Park Pavilion project. Broderick was seeking Greenway funding assistance of $190,000 toward the project, which Lewiston Town Board members had earlier endorsed.

Envisioned for the west side of Academy Park on Portage Road, the redesigned 80-by-40-foot open-air pavilion is expected to feature a cupola, scissor trusses with soffits along the pavilion ceiling, and taller pillars (measuring 10 feet instead of 8 feet). Its new projected cost is in the range of $360,000.

Broderick presented the project on behalf of the village and noted, “They have a community donation of $100,000 from Bill Game, a $20,000 donation from Anthony DiMino of Tops, and the town has passed a resolution to provide $190,000 of Town of Lewiston Greenway funds to complete the pavilion.

“I know it’s still under design; I know one part of the resolution was that the town building inspector was going to assist. And he’s done so. So, I think it’s a project they been talking about for a couple of years and I’m in favor of it.”

Host Community Standing Committee officials stated the application met all of the procedural requirements outlined in the Niagara River Greenway Plan. There was no further discussion and the committee went on to approve the funding request by an 8-0 vote.

Next, Broderick presented a $1.46 million funding request toward the Lewiston Riverfront Park project that is nearing completion at Lower River and Pletcher roads in the town. He stated the new funding would go toward construction of a second, 24-by-36-foot pavilion, a 140-foot-long boardwalk at the river’s edge, a kayak launch, a pathway, and benches. The town was approved for $700,000 in Greenway funding toward the park in 2018.

“So, back in 2018, we made a presentation to the Greenway Commission for our lower River Road Park. We hadn’t made a name for it yet,” Broderick said. “Currently, the roadway was put in. We have one pavilion down there. We put in approximately $400,000 in renovations to our outfall building that weren’t covered by Greenway funds – that was secondary funding from the (town’s) fund balances. We’re moving on to our second phase of the park, which is a kayak launch, a fishing pier/boardwalk and a handicapped-accessible ramp.

“GHD, our engineering firm, is going to handle all the permitting with the DEC. I included the original plan for the park; there’s also a diagram of the river’s edge. There’s going to be 140 feet of boardwalk; it’s going to be up to 17 feet wide. There will be enough room for some people to sit on benches, some people to fish. It will be cantilevered over the river.

“We’ve had people out there already fishing in the water. This (the new boardwalk) is a safer avenue, I believe. And we’ve had people launching kayaks from our property already. So, this is a necessary amendment to the park.

“It’s also to include a second pavilion. The original plan called for three pavilions, and when we got down there and put our first pavilion up, we said, ‘Two pavilions is all we want.’ It (the park site) looks like a lot of room until you start putting stuff down there and want to keep it very simple.

“There’s a financial breakdown. Approximately, with the new pavilion of $600,000; $200,000 for the kayak launch; the boardwalk, $500,000; the pathway and miscellaneous benches, things like that, are $100,000. And engineering is $60,000. So, what we’re asking today is approval for $1.46 million in additional funding.”

City of Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino presented a motion to accept the funding resolution. He said, “It’s really beautiful.”

The town’s request was determined to meet all the necessary criteria and went on to be approved by an 8-0 vote.

The third project involved a funding redirect of $17,000 toward the Wheatfield Lions Nature Trail and Fishing Pond project, located at the Lions Five Senses Park at 6535 Ward Road in the Town of Wheatfield. The HCSC approved funding of $115,000 in 2021 toward the project. At this session, attorney Thomas Burgasser requested the redirect, stating that it was intended to go toward construction costs associated with the project. He noted the funding would go to pay for the construction of fencing and gates around the ponds that comprise the project at the Five Senses Park.

This funding request also was found to meet Greenway criteria and was unanimously approved.

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