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Lewiston could save $100,000 by letting state take over Joseph Davis Park

The Lewiston Town board is discussing ending the lease on Joseph Davis Park, which would let New York State Parks Office take over the care and maintenance for the park.

“They are going to take over everything we are doing now. This could possibly save the town $100,000 a year,” Supervisor Dennis J. Brochey said Monday at the town board meeting. “That’s the town’s money, not Greenway money.”

Former Supervisor Steven L. Reiter had lofty plans for the park, including using Niagara River Greenway money to establish a visitor center, a new boat launch and an Audubon Society nature center.

In September, Michael V. Dashineau, Lewiston’s recreation and parks superintendent, told the Host Communities Standing Committee, which controls local Greenway money, that even though $1 million had been spent on engineering costs during the last two years of the Reiter administration, nothing has been done except some paving.

“When you think about it: why would you want to put that kind of money into something Lewiston will never own?” Brochey said. “There’s a lot of other projects we can look at instead,” such as restoring the long-vacant Frontier House in the Village of Lewiston.

Brochey said Mark W. Thomas, district director for New York State Parks, has agreed to take back the park as long as the town removes some partially demolished buildings. Work was stopped when the buildings were found to contain asbestos.

He said the town has $100,000 in Greenway funds that it is allowed to use to complete the work.

The board will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. next Thursday to adopt the 2015 budget.