Lewis applies for park grant, discusses impact of tax cap on budget

— The Lewis Town Board voted to authorize Supervisor David Blades to apply for a $30,000 state parks and recreation grant to rehab Milholland Park.

The rehabilitation would potentially involve clearing brush, rebuilding firepits, and installing picnic tables, according to Councilman James Monty.

“It’s just something we had in the back of the mind to give back to the residents,” Monty said.

In other regular business:

• With the statewide 2 percent property tax cap in mind, Blades requested councilmembers give him guidance on where to cut from the 2012 budget.

“Already retirement is increased from last year,” the supervisor said, adding that it had increased $10,000. “I’m going to need directions on where these cuts should be made.”

•The board passed a resolution allowing Essex County Attorney Dan Manning to defend Lewis if an Article 7 petition that the town receives results in litigation.

An Article 7 petition is a document in which someone grieves their tax assessment. Blades said the specifics of the petition couldn’t be discussed in the open meeting as the issue might result in a lawsuit.

“I don’t think we even need to go into executive session,” the supervisor said to the board. “Because I think that it’s not going to go anywhere.”

Monty said he wanted to hear more about the background of the petition. The board decided to go into executive session.

• Work is ongoing at the town baseball field, according to Councilman Charles Martin. The home run fence will be taken down and won’t be replaced in the near future. Bases have been installed on the field. Some donated topsoil, which is stockpiled on the field, will be applied to the outfield this fall along with some grass seed.

The work so far has been done at low expense to Lewis.

“The only cost to the town was a box of nails and a box of staples,” Blades said.

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