Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 15, 2014

ARTPARK: Police support for concerts debated.

Niagara Gazette — TOWN OF LEWISTON - Supervisor Dennis Brochey said he's been trying to get Artpark & Co.'s board of directors to finance overtime costs town police officers earn through the summer chaos of Tuesday and Wednesday night concerts.

He said he's looking to take a hardline stance now that he's in the supervisor's seat and is holding annual funding the town provides the not-for-profit organization as a shiny carrot to help in his quest.

Or is he? The town has, for the last dozen or so years, provided Artpark's children's programing with the money it receives from Modern Corp., called tipping fees. Averaging around $120,000 each year, the money is specifically designated to fund children's programming only. Brochey said it might be better served elsewhere, possibly as a supplement to the recreation department in some way.

"I'm just trying to do what's best financially for the Town of Lewiston," Brochey said. "I'm not giving away money when we don't have to. I have nothing against Artpark. We've helped them for more than 11 years now ... I think it's time they help themselves."

While the money Artpark receives does go towards children's programming, Brochey said the other concerns popping up throughout Lewiston take precedent. He said spending the money on local programs instead of giving it to Artpark would allow the town's resources to be diverted to where they could be more helpful to those residents not living in the village.

People in Sanborn and those living closer to Ransomville, Youngstown and Porter are less interested in funding overtime for police than they are avoiding the implementation of a town tax, which has once again entered the conversation as costs increase and revenues drop.

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