LEWISTON – The Lewiston Town Board wants the New York Power Authority to start negotiations to pay $1.5 million or more on an annual basis for fire and police services provided by the town.
A resolution was proposed at Monday’s board meeting calling for the authority, which controls more than 2,400 acres of land in the town tax-free, to provide some type of payment in lieu of taxes since it does not pay any special district taxes.
The proposal notes that the authority has provided millions of dollars to the City of Niagara Falls to help meet its budget needs, including a $13 million donation in 2012, just weeks after Lewiston’s first responders deployed and extinguished a fire at the plant.
Councilman Michael Marra, who proposed the resolution, said officials believe “Lewiston deserves it.”
Marra proposed $1.5 million a year for 20 years, but Supervisor Dennis J. Brochey said they should consider inflation.
“This is just a guideline or template to let the folks (at authority headquarters) in White Plains know we appreciate their response, but we would like to move forward to further those discussions. I’m sure whatever the amount, it will increase annually,” Marra said.
In other business, Highway Superintendent Douglas A. Janese told the board 21 roads in the town need repairs, but Brochey said the town will not have the money to do all of the work, limiting him to a total budget of $300,000.
Janese said, “We will try to do the ones in the worst condition or where we can save a road.” However, he noted, with the continued weather issues, the town may want to wait a bit before choosing which roads to work on.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen with the frost coming out of the ground,” Janese said. “Once you get to spring, a lot of these roads disintegrate.”