Artpark concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday nights during the summer months have been a hot topic amongst residents both in and outside the Village of Lewiston.
For those in the village proper, dealing with a lack of relaxing evenings due to loud music and an invasion by sometimes rude, sometimes dirty visitors looking for the concert venue without paying to park on the state park's grounds might be a reality.
But for everyone in Lewiston, including the town outside the village, there's also the matter of the financial cost involved in securing the grounds and ensuring crimes aren't committed or are properly punished if they are. Lewiston Supervisor Dennis Brochey, a village resident, said he and finance director Paul Kloosterman determined the town spends $65,000 per year funding the Artpark-related law enforcement activity, while village residents pay $12,500 in related expenses.
All of this, Brochey said, on top of things within the town that need to be addressed, all with a price tag of close to $3 million total. He said Artpark, which receives financial support from the town in addition to the police expense, probably isn't his first priority.
"We have helped Artpark long enough and it's time we took care of our own town's needs," Brochey said Monday. "We have a worn-out senior bus that's 171,000 miles on it, a senior center with a leaky roof and no air conditioning. Our own sewer department building needs a new roof. All of our electronic water meter heads are two years beyond their life expectancy. Roads all over need repaving and a new large water line is needed in front of Lewiston-Porter schools."
Brochey said the town's financial future is also in question, as previous administrations relied too heavily on borrowing money to make projects work. Lewiston's current debt sits at $14.4 million, and Brochey said the town can't afford more or it could be facing a town tax.