Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

November 6, 2013

Town to foot $50K bill|Town official says Lewiston will pay full amount of CWM related attorney bill

Niagara Gazette — Lewiston Town Board Councilman Alphonso Bax is making sure he's heard in the fight against the proposed expansion of Chemical Waste Management's Lewiston facility.

He said he'll be sure the Niagara County Legislature doesn't just receive $18,000 from the town, which was agreed upon at last week's meeting. He said the board will be providing the county the full $50,000 it owes to get experts working again in their shared fight against the expansion efforts.

"My goal is to have the money to the county by their next legislature meeting," Bax said following the town's work session Monday. How he'll do it is still a mystery, though not a shrouded one.

Bax and the council have, as of October, about $60,000 of an initial $100,000 available in its budget for outside legal council. Of that, the town committed $18,000 to the county to pay an overdue expense in the CWM proceedings. The same account would handle Bax's continuation of payments, with an additional $32,000 due the county to get their attorney, Allegany-based Gary Abraham, back to work.

Bax said it's unclear whether payment would require a formal vote by the board or if the county would accept simply being told the money is available and to send a bill once it's needed. But either way, he said, the county will see its funding.

The environmental activist group Residents for Responsible Government held a press conference prior to the board's meeting Monday expressing disbelief the town would keep the experts from working on the job they started in 2007 under then-Supervisor Fred Newlin.

They said immediate action is needed by the town to ensure not only the attorney, but also the group of experts he'll need to back up his legal battle, are funded.

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