Lewiston Town Board at odds over Artpark funding

TOWN OF LEWISTON, NY (WIVB)  Each year Artpark receives around $100,000 from the Modern Disposal tipping fees, but the Lewiston Town supervisor was hoping to use that money elsewhere.

In Lewiston, the town board has differing opinions if Artpark should continue to receive tipping fees. “We budgeted for it this year, they budgeted for it. All of the sudden now it’s May and we’re telling them no you can’t have it. If we were going to do this, we should have done it in January,” said board member Ron Winkley.

“Every home, every business in the Village of Lewiston right now is paying $21 in taxes more for the benefit of just one organization. We could use that money,” said supervisor Dennis Brochey.

The town board also debated whether Artpark should start paying for police protection, rather than it be on the town’s dime. But how much it costs to have police presence at the concerts is unclear, with figures ranging from $28,000 to nearly $70,000.

“I refuse to add all these costs that no one else is paying, that are unrealistic. We double billed,” said Winkley. “When the town council asked me to put together numbers of everything associated with the police department for Artpark in 2013, I’m going to be thorough in my numbers and put them together,” said town finance director Paul Kloosterman.

In the end, the decision was made that the tipping fees will continue to go to Artpark. Those fees are used toward children’s programming which sees 31,000 kids each summer. “I thought it was fair I thought it was balanced. I thought it took into account the fact that there’s a commitment to fund children’s programming,” said John Camp, Artpark Board of Directors. “I’m very disappointed in the outcome. Artpark is an asset to our community, but I’m looking at our town finances and budget and we’re very short,” said Brochey.

Artpark will now be required to pay for police protection at concerts. The town board with now meet with Kloosterman to determine how much that will cost.

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