Niagara Gazette

Opinion

July 13, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Lewiston civic center project will impact Lewiston taxes; use up most of greenway funds

Niagara Gazette — When asked what motivates politicians Will Rogers could only respond, “I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.” It’s a shame politicians aren’t more dog-like in their decision making approach if they were future problems could be avoided. But somewhere along the way a politician’s ego blinds him or her from thinking clearly. Their sole motivation isn’t to make decisions benefiting the community but to feed a self-serving ego through the accumulation of power and that cumulative hunger creates problems. For Lewiston that hunger will create problems for the next 30 years.

How will this happen? Well, it’s being proposed to use, for the next 30 years 80 percent of greenway funding on a single project — the civic center. With such a large percentage of greenway funding dedicated to one project little or no funding will be available to fund future projects in Sanborn, Colonial Village, or the Village of Lewiston. Little or no funding to improve our parks or sponsor summer youth programs at Artpark or fund the Jazz Festival. Little or no funding dedicated to Lewiston’s place in history. For the next 30 years one project will dominate greenway funding leaving little funding available for future worthy projects. Oh, some will dispute this claiming the civic center won’t create such a problem, so in the immortal words of Joe Friday, just the facts please.

Annually Lewiston receives $510,000 in greenway funding. These funds have been used to build monuments and streetscapes, sponsor youth programs, contribute to jazz festivals, improve a farm museum, restore our parks and turn an historic law office into a welcome center. Presently greenway funds are paying down an annual contractual agreement of $84,000 for an ice rink. If you subtract the annual $84,000 payment Lewiston has $426,000 for the next 30 years to fund future youth programs and jazz festivals, build more monuments and continue to improve all of Lewiston’s parks.

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