Lakewood Projects Push Forward

Stormwater management projects, such as those in Crescent Creek, have continued throughout the village of Lakewood this summer. P-J photo by Jay Young

LAKEWOOD — Several infrastructure projects inside the village of Lakewood are continuing to move forward despite the challenges presented by COVID-19.

Engineers from Barton and Loguidice made a presentation to the village board on the Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit Project, which is nearing completing of design and construction bidding documents.

“We are still hoping for construction to start this fall, depending on how the bids come in,” said Nicole Cleary, landscape architect for Barton and Loguidice. “The plan would be to start that after labor day so we are not interfering with any of the summer businesses, especially because they have already had to be closed for so long with COVID-19. We are aiming to have the construction substantially complete before Memorial Day for that same reason.”

Department of Public Works Supervisor Tom Piling told the board that street lamps in place along Chautauqua Avenue have all had their light fixtures replaced with energy-efficient lid’s, and also offered an update on watershed improvements being made to Crescent Creek.

“We are about, I would say, 80% done with that,” Piling said. “All we have to do is make the channels now in the forebay. We are not going to open up the water until we get everything planted and seeded.”

Both the Chautauqua Avenue project and the Crescent Creek project include stormwater management infrastructure. According to Piling, more than 300 plants have been added to Crescent Creek, and another 100 will be put in place this week.

Village Attorney John Lamancuso is in the process of finalizing legal documents to transfer land parcels between the village of Lakewood and town of Busti in order to complete the Grandview Stormwater management project.

Speaking on the subject of grant-funded projects taking place within the village, trustee Ted McCague mentioned that the board may want to request a time extension from the state for some projects.

“The New York Main Street Grant Agreement had a two-year time period on it, which meant that it is due to expire on Dec. 27 of this year,” McCague said. “We have a couple of projects that are still open, actually three, and they are high-visibility important projects. The COVID circumstance has prohibited these property owners from being able to do anything. From bids, to getting contractors to look at the buildings, even they are being told that supplies are very difficult to get for some of the building materials that they need for the projects. We need to get a letter off to the state expressing these concerns and asking for an extension of time for the agreement with the state.”

In other business, Lakewood’s municipal building was reopened on Monday after meeting COVID-19 requirements.

“The Lakewood Village Hall is now back open again this morning again after all of the COVID tests that were in question came back negative,” Mayor Randy Holcomb said. “We are able to reopen and have business as usual. If we continue this way I would like to have the next board of trustees meeting at village hall if that is agreeable to all and the majority want to.”

The board also discussed a pair of requests to purchase village property at Midcrest Avenue and Gordon Avenue.

“Misdirects is owned by the village, it cuts right through the middle of all those Crest streets,” Holcomb said. “There have been several transfers over the past decade where parts of Midcrest have been sold to the neighboring property owners. There is a past history on this, it is not new for Misdirects transfers.”

The board discussed the pros and cons of a possible sale, and agreed to visit the locations in person before making any financial commitments.

“I think everybody should actually go in person to see where the property is, if there is any question about that,” trustee Ellen Barnes said. “Maybe we need to table this until the next meeting and everybody has had a chance to look at it.”

The board authorized the hiring of Cory Stevens of Ashville to the Department of Public Works, and announced that Gary Segrue accepted his nomination as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Also, the Bonnie Loch Fiddlers were authorized to perform a free concert in Hartley Park on August 4 from 7-9 p.m.


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