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Lakewood Stormwater Project Moves Along

LAKEWOOD–The Lakewood Village Board passed a motion Monday authorizing advertisement of construction bids for the Chautauqua Avenue Green Street Retrofit project.

The project stems from a New York state green innovation grant in the amount of $695,000, and aims to develop the infrastructure along Chautauqua Avenue to beautify the village center and better manage stormwater runoff.

The village has been aided through the process by the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance, and partnered with engineering firm Barton and Loguidice for the planning stages.

Trustee Ellen Barnes stated that she was in contact with an employee of the Environmental Facilities Corporation, a public benefit organization that provides financial and technical assistance to municipalities, regarding funding.

“She said yes, that the money for the project is secured and will not be reduced or changed due to the pandemic,” Barnes said. “I just wanted people to know that, yes, we have looked into that aspect of it because I know there are some nervous people out there.”

In other business Kurt Hallberg, Lakewood fire chief, announced that his department had voted to authorize the purchase of a $125,000 rescue boat.

“The boat will be unlike anything else on the lake, with a built-in fire pump, as well as a bow ramp and a diver’s door,” Hallberg said in his report.

The boat has a capacity of 16 people, and can also hold an all-terrain vehicle.

Hallberg also said that the department is planning to have a helicopter landing pad blacktopped at its training grounds.

“The number of times we have been flying patients this year has greatly increased,” Hallberg said. “This pad, located adjoining the blacktop roadway, will make moving the patients from the ambulance to the aircraft much easier.

In other business the board is considering combining its Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, as other municipalities have done to increase efficiency.

“I have received documentation from the town of Ellicott on the legal process that they went through,” Mayor Randy Holcomb said.

A five-member board with three alternates, and a seven-member board with one alternate are being considered.

Dr. Robert Siegel addressed the board with a proposal to donate a pair of vacant lots to the village, located behind the former Wilson Farms store at Chautauqua Avenue and East Summit Street.

“Even though I don’t live in the village, wherever I have been over the years–I’ve always called Lakewood home,” Siegel said. “We wanted to know if Lakewood might accept it, and we would want to do it in honor of my parents who just loved living here and were very active in the community.”

The board expressed appreciation for the offer, and is considering the proposal. Siegel expressed his desire that the lots be used as a public space, and not a parking lot.

Department of Public Works Supervisor Tom Pilling reported to the board that the Crescent Creek stormwater project has been completed except for the final hydroseeding of some areas.

Pilling also reported that DPW Truck No. 4, a 2012 International, was taken to Five Star International in Erie, Pa. for repairs after suffering engine damage.

The repairs are expected to cost $20,000, and Pilling also reported that the village had taken delivery of its new excavator.

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