LEWISTON – The Town of Lewiston has maintained Joseph Davis State Park on Lower River Road for the last three years after budgetary constraints forced the state to either turn over the park or close it. But new Supervisor Dennis J. Brochey said Monday that town officials are examining those costs.
“Paul Kloosterman, my finance director, has been looking at the costs at Joe Davis. My concern is overspending, especially when it is needed so much elsewhere,” Brochey said. “Our seniors are looking for a bus, and there’s a lot of things we could use our funds for to help build other projects that are really going to help our community more than enhancing a state park.”
Councilman Alfonso M. Bax agreed that the costs should be examined. “The town’s position moving forward is to make sure these costs don’t become a negative legacy cost for the town,” Bax said. “We have funds through the Greenway Commission that we could spend, but we just want to make sure we are doing it the appropriate way. The largest variable is the state park’s position.”
Councilman Michael J. Marra suggested they invite Gerard J. Mosey, a state parks commissioner for the Niagara Region who lives in the Village of Lewiston area, to a future meeting because he is familiar with the topic. Board members were in unanimous agreement and will try to confer with Mosey before the next meeting.
“In my opinion, we really have to have that candid conversation to move forward,” Bax said.
Marra said that Mosey has already spoken with him and that he has some ideas and concepts.
In another matter, the board voted unanimously to have the state parks agency pay to remove two unused gasoline storage tanks from Joseph Davis State Park.
“They told us we could keep them there, but in my experience with fuel tanks, we really don’t want the liability,” Brochey said.
Also, Highway Superintendent Douglas A. Janese presented a list of 21 roads that need paving in the town.
Janese said they had “woefully inadequate funds” for roads last year.
He was asked to prioritize the list, but Janese told the board, “In my opinion, every single one of them needs to be done.”
Janese also told board members that they have a stable supply of rock salt and “have never been thin,” but said their regular supplier, North American, cannot fulfill their contract at a cost of $35 per ton. American Rock Salt has an emergency stock, he said, but – at $63 a ton – it would charge nearly twice as much.