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The Lewiston Village Board on Tuesday set a public hearing for March 19 on a proposal to ease the requirement that owners of bed-and-breakfasts live on-site.

The amended law would allow either the owners or their agents to be the resident of record. The proposed change is based a Youngstown ordinance.

Paula Roscetti, owner of the Portage House Motel, asked the board if it had done any study on the proposal.

"Why do you think you need so many more rooms? We have a 40 percent occupancy rate," Roscetti said.

She noted that winter months are especially tough for bed-and-breakfasts.

Deputy Mayor Terry C. Collesano said that when the upper-plateau soccer field is completed, upward of 50,000 people could come to Lewiston. He noted that visitors now go to Grand Island or across the river.

Roscetti said that most of the visitors are young people and that many leave the area because they are looking for hotels with pools.

In another matter, Recreation Director Marianne L. Gitterman said she is applying for a grant to bring a gazebo to Academy Park.

"We would like the gazebo to look Victorian and be 36 feet wide, with six sides. It could be used for performances of the Sanborn Band, for the Peach Festival or for a wedding or fund-raiser," she said.

She said she would like to locate the gazebo where the bleachers are and would consider asking students from the Board of Cooperative Extension Services to build it. She noted that BOCES students built a shelter for the village in the past.

In another matter, Trustee Kenneth Kenney said the inaugural Smelt Festival has been scheduled for the weekend of April 27. Events are expected to include a fun run, children's events, a parade and a plethora of recipes for smelt.

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