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Waiting continues for Lewiston residents in Riverwalk

LEWISTON — After years of waiting for a flooding fix, Riverwalk subdivision residents were asked to hold on – at least a little longer.

Highway Superintendent Douglas Janese told the Lewiston Town Board on Monday that he received the engineering drawings and is ready to purchase pipes, stone and concrete to begin drainage work at the site. He estimated the cost to be around $18,000 to $20,000.

“It should be a pretty quick job,” said Janese, suggesting the project should take about three to four weeks.

But Town Engineer Robert Lannon threw another obstacle in the road, noting that the project would need New York State Parks approval for an easement since it would bring part of the drainage line into Joseph Davis State Park.

The town board tried for an extended period of time to get Riverwalk developer Joseph Deck to pay for the work, but when that stalled the board members eventually decided to go ahead with the project themselves. Janese was directed to begin making the purchases of needed materials and also to save all his receipts and keep track of town labor costs in case they are able to recoup any expenditures.

The board also moved forward on another long-standing legal issue by agreeing to grant a clay mining permit to the Mawhiney mine at 2752 Ridge Road.

The vote was a non-issue since the town had been court-ordered to grant the permit.

Owner Roger Mawhiney began excavating the site, with town permission as a 20-acre irrigation pond in 2006, but then expanded into a 52-acre clay mine over the objections of the town. Mawhiney, who had a Department of Environmental Conservation mining permit, continued to excavate without a town permit and after a seven-year battle the court sided with Mawhiney.

The board also adopted a 2016 preliminary budget of $15.7 million, which is down from this year’s $16 million budget. The proposed budget will have no town tax and no pay increases for elected officials. A final budget will be adopted following a public hearing at 6 p.m. Nov. 5.