Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

October 8, 2013

CWM legal fight funds draw a crowd

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

Still, if the board chooses to reduce the amount set aside for the contingency, it could affect the environmental protection fund’s value.

Others in the crowd Monday felt the money to pay Abraham shouldn’t be based on the town’s contingency for outside council at all. In a letter addressed to supervisor Steve Reiter, Amy Hope Witryol, a Lewiston resident and former bank executive who has researched the waste industry and public policy in Niagara County for years, said the town should be using money paid to it by CWM, not taxpayer money, to fight the expansion.

Each year, the town receives a portion of gross receipt tax money from the company. In 2013, the figure was calculated to be $297,000, well in excess of the $50,000 the town would be responsible for paying the county for Abraham.

“One of the primary purposes of the state-mandated gross receipts tax CWM pays to Lewiston is to protect the town from the adverse affects of the facility,” she said. “None of the town board spending of $297,000 in CWM host monies received in 2013 was used for this intended purpose. None from 2012 or 2011 or 2010. None since (Reiter) took office.”

While the residents urged the town to fund the fight’s legal measures, members of the town board, including Reiter and Councilman, and Republican candidate for supervisor, Ernest Palmer, expressed their beliefs that Lewiston shouldn’t be alone in the financial portion of the fight.

Both elected officials said the town should be looking at neighboring towns, such as Porter, Cambria and Wilson, to lend a hand in combating the expansion.

“We need to think about a partnership so the burden isn’t entirely on Lewiston residents,” Palmer said. “The truck traffic for CWM goes through Cambria, it goes through Porter. They need to contribute too.”

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