Niagara Gazette

Local News

July 14, 2013

With debate over tax impact, Lewiston residents to decide fate of civic center

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “Where’s money going to come from? Immaculate conception? We need to take a step back and do a feasibility study.”

The dispute over construction cost stems from an early-June visit by sports management firm boss Dev Pathik, who told Glasgow and this reporter the construction estimate would need to be reexamined by his firm if it was hired to handle the project. Supervisor Steve Reiter and the town board quickly decided not to hire Pathik’s firm, The Sports Facilities Advisory, citing a lack of time before this vote and a desire to gauge public interest before paying for a management firm.

Glasgow said the project needed Pathik’s voice to ensure the project is well planned and reasonable.

“I think if you asked everyone in the town, they’d say it’s a great idea,” she said. “But what they needed to do was hire (Pathik) and hold up and get the correct information. These numbers have been changed so many times, no one knows what the right numbers are anymore. (Pathik) would do an analysis first to see if the building is even feasible. And if it is, they can scale it down so it’s cost effective and it’ll be much easier to support.”

Lewiston Democratic Party Chairwoman Diane Roberts echoed Glasgow’s sentiments about the project’s cost. But Roberts, who said she is voting by absentee ballot, said there’s an issue she has with the wording of the actual referendum.

She said the voters should received assurances the annual payments of Niagara River Greenway funding, which was secured through the Host Communities Standing Committee, would go to paying back the debt created by this bond.

“There’s nothing in the language which guarantees taxpayers the greenway money will go toward this,” Roberts said.

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