Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 15, 2014

Lewiston town official proposes cutting law enforcement details for Artpark shows

(Continued)

He said his plan, which he laid out Monday in some detail, would help the town avoid taxing residents come 2015. But it might hurt their pocketbooks a little more now instead. In addition to reducing or eliminating the town's support of Artpark, Brochey is proposing reducing the bimonthly discounts residents receive on their water bills. Village residents would also see a reduction of the discounts provided on their bills, as well, he said.

The current discount stands at $20 per two-month billing period for town residents and $30 per three-month period in the village. Brochey said he'd like to reduce those to $14.90 and $22.35, respectively. It's a move, he said, that would provide $150,000 in added money to spend on other projects, including the ones he laid out.

Brochey's plan and his figures were met with resistance from some of the board members, though, as Councilman Ronald Winkley, a former town chief of police, said the costs Brochey listed relating to Artpark law enforcement were incorrect. In an exchange that became rather heated, Winkley said the true cost comes out to $42,000 to the town, not $65,000.

"I don't know where you're getting $65,000, but I figured it out," Winkley said. "It's six hours on Tuesdays and they don't do every single Wednesday. So, if we're gonna tell them numbers, let's tell them the right numbers."

Winkley, who up until this past week was a member of Artpark's board of directors, said his calculations used the top pay of every top officer, though the top-paid officers aren't always the ones on duty, as well as taking 40 percent of salary for benefits as a rough figure.

In addition to the Artpark discrepency, Councilman Michael Marra informed the board he's heard from a number of residents who've stated the water bill discounts were reduced for town residents already, despite no formal action from the board.

Both action items - the release of funds to support Artpark and the reduction of discounts on water bills - were tabled until the next town board meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, at town hall, 1375 Ridge Road, Lewiston.

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