Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

May 19, 2014

Stalled Joseph Davis State Park work was costly for Lewiston

Niagara Gazette — Financial documents associated with the Joseph Davis Park Local Development Corporation, obtained through a Freedom of Information request filed by the Niagara Gazette, show the town authorized more than $1 million worth of expenditures during the LDC board’s two-plus years of existence. 

Records show the town spent $186,000 in 2011, $648,000 in 2012 and $217,000 in 2013 on LDC-related activities.

The highest percentage of funds were paid to CEA International, a consulting company out of Rochester. Its president and chief executive, Louis Giardino, received $259,000 from the town over the course of the LDC’s involvement. He served as the advisor and public voice to the corporation’s all-volunteer board.

Giardino said his firm got involved because it was looking to make an impact at the park with an idea in a community that seemed interested in making the promise of park improvements a reality. 

“I don’t ever engage in a project just for a fee,” Giardino said. “I got involved because I believed in it, that it was a great choice. Had I known this project was going to take two years of my life, I would never have agreed to be involved in it and never would’ve recommended the town go forward with the idea.”

Giardino said he only advised the LDC on its best course of action. He said he billed the town $150 per hour — lower than his normal hourly rate — and never charged for gas or travel expenses even though he frequently traveled from Rochester to Lewiston. He said he also did not accept reimbursement for costs related to negotiating trips he and other took to Albany where they met with state representatives to discuss Joseph Davis Park matters.

Giardino said he also got involved in the effort due to the involvement of state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, whom he said supported the idea of the town developing the property in an effort to make Joseph Davis State Park more appealing to residents and visitors.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lewiston
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page