LEWISTON – The Town Board debated the condition of the Lewiston Senior Center on Lower River Road on Monday as it grappled with a $150,000 estimate for a new roof for the center.
“Are we just throwing good money after bad?” asked Councilman Ernest C. Palmer.
Supervisor Steven L. Reiter told the board members that before any work can be done on the roof, they need to figure out where the money will come from.
“We are looking at a very costly repair,” Reiter said.
Town Engineer Ryan Smith said the new roof would be warranted for 20 years.
But Smith said that in his assessment, the entire building is not up to standards. In addition to the roof, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit and the lighting all need to be addressed, he said.
Smith said the roof made up the bulk of the costs.
“We could do a little lipstick work,” Smith said of patching the roof, “but that would only last about three years and you would be back doing it again.”
Reiter said the old linoleum floors are also old and need work.
“At what point do we cut our losses?” Palmer asked. “That’s a question we have to explore.”
The board will discuss the bid procurement for the roofing project and where the money for a new roof will come from at its next board meeting Sept. 23.
In another matter, the board agreed to a contract that will allow the Town of Porter to use the town’s dog control services for picking up strays.
The shared agreement will allow the Town of Porter to drop its contract with the SPCA of Niagara, which had been charging $1,000 per month to pick up stray dogs.
Lewiston Town Attorney Michael Dowd told the board at the last meeting that the Town of Porter averages about five or six strays per year, which meant it was paying about $2,000 for every stray.
Under the new agreement, the Town of Porter will pay Lewiston Dog Control Officer Dave Sheriff $100 to pick up strays during the day and $150 on overtime.
Kristen Ruest, the village veterinarian, will charge the Town of Lewiston $40 to $50 a day for dogs taken there, which will then be billed to the Town of Porter. The vet will hold dogs for up to five days until their owners can be found or they are adopted.
“That should control their costs and also help us with our budget a little bit,” Reiter said. “We turned to this arrangement with a local vet a few years ago and the Town of Porter is following our lead.”
Dowd said they began doing their own stray dog pickups in Lewiston about 10 to 12 years ago when costs to use the SPCA of Niagara for strays became too high.
Dowd said the Town of Lewiston has about 10 to 12 stray dog calls per year.
In another matter, Reiter said the Town of Lewiston and Senior Center parking lots are expected to be repaved over the next two weekends, weather permitting.