Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

May 30, 2014

Lewiston Town Board approves $40K bill for Artpark police costs

Niagara Gazette — Lewiston’s drama with Artpark concerning costs of police protection is over.

At the end of Thursday’s Lewiston Town Board meeting, Councilman Ronald Winkley made a motion to charge the state park’s operating board, Artpark and Co., $40,000 to cover the costs associated with overtime incurred by town police officers working Tuesday and Wednesday concert nights.

Only Supervisor Dennis Brochey, who’s held a number of public and private arguments with Winkley over the dollar amount, voted against the motion, which passed, 4-1.

“I think it’s time we put this to rest,” Winkley said.

Along with formally approving a bill, the vote also authorized the town to pay Artpark & Co. the entirety of tipping fees collected from Modern Corp., a matter settled last month when the issue came to a head.

Because the town is obligated to spend the tipping fees on children’s programming, a majority of board members in April determined Artpark’s offerings would be the recipient, as it has been for more than a decade. But the money was not delivered to Artpark, instead being tied up in figuring out the dollar amount the town would bill for overtime costs.

With the action Thursday, roughly $29,000 for police overtime charges, as well as an additional $11,000 for town forces to install restricting cones on the Robert Moses Parkway near the Artpark entrance to the limited access roadway, will be billed.

Winkley said the cones were previously set up by an independent contractor which charged Artpark about $1,400 each concert date. With 12 shows on Artpark’s schedule, Winkley said the town taking over would save Artpark money.

“They asked us if we could put the cones up on the Robert Moses,” Winkley said. “We said, ‘Yeah, but we’re gonna charge you.’ But we’re not going to make a profit off Artpark, that’s not what government’s for.”

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