Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

November 18, 2013

Lewiston officials sign off on CWM fight funds

A pair of action items were handled by the Lewiston Town Board Monday during a special meeting, according to several town officials. And both have an impact on the long-term status of the municipality.

According to Councilman Ernie Palmer, a vote was taken to approved the expense of $31,119.53, the remaining money needed to fund the services of Allegany-based environmental attorney Gary Abraham and a team of scientific experts who are expected to soon present a case against Chemical Waste Management and its proposed landfill expansion.

It's part of a partnership with Niagara County, one requiring the town to pay $50,000. Palmer said it's about following up on a commitment.

"We committed $50,000 in 2013 and that was the balance," Palmer said of the decision. "We authorized the payment of the remainder of the $50,000 to the county ... as long as we get the appropriate documentation from the county."

Town finance manager Mike Johnson said the figure is expected to be sent to the county legislature as early as next week.

Johnson said the town also finalized its spending plan for 2014, which includes a promised $50,000 set aside in an environmental protection fund, to continue the fight.

The town's $17.4 million budget was approved as well on Monday, Johnson said. Very few changes were made to the plan presented during the town's public hearing on the item, which makes it legal to spend money next year, Johnson said.

Acting Supervisor Gary Catlin, who assumed the town's leadership last week, said he's confident in the plan Johnson created.

"I've been involved for the last couple weeks with Mike Johnson," Catlin said. "I have a lot of faith in what was presented to town board. Mike Johnson has more than earned the money he receives, as he's done an exemplary job with this budget."

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