Message from the First Selectwoman Lauren Gister
Thank you to the Town of Chester for your confidence and votes. As we enter the New Year I am excited to be here and to learn more about how to serve you better. Please feel free to stop in and introduce yourself, to make a suggestion, or discuss an issue important to you. Here is an update of town business:
A primary focus of the first quarter of the year will be the development of the budget. The Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Chester and Region 4 Boards of Education will be working intently to propose a budget that is fiscally responsible and reflects the goals and objectives of the residents. There are no easy answers; State funding is being cut on a consistent basis, while educational and routine municipal expenses continue to rise. We will make it as easy as possible to stay informed about budget issues and priorities, through the weekly email blast, informational meetings and on the town website. Chester needs your input and suggestions throughout the process. Please be involved!
Main Street Project Phase I
The first phase of the Main Street reconstruction and upgrade is almost complete. Storm drain problems have been corrected, the road resurfaced, sidewalks widened and curbing replaced, among other items. Approximately 80% of the project was paid for through a State STEAP grant award, with the remainder paid from Town Capital Improvement Program funds. Most of the construction has been done and inspected, with only a small “punch list” remaining for the contractor to complete. The largest item remaining is the finalization and activation of the new lighting in the Laurel Hill Cemetery parking lot, which hopefully will be complete by the time of publication. Other items remaining include some minor landscaping and painting of crosswalks, which will be completed in the spring of 2016 due to weather concerns.
Finally, the last of the three State D.O.T. bridge reconstruction projects is upon us. The Route 154 Bridge was done in 2010, the Water Street bridge in 2012, and now the Main Street bridge just east of Route 148 will begin in January of 2016. The preparations for construction have begun, with additional crosswalks painted, protection of the existing water main with concrete sleeving, design of detour and traffic signs, and pedestrian and parking map design. Main Street will be closed to through traffic, although there will be pedestrian access on alternating sides of the street. Parking will be available at the Water Street, Laurel Hill Cemetery, rear of First Niagara Bank, Maple Street, and possibly one additional accessory lot. Depending on the weather, construction is estimated to be complete just prior to Memorial Day 2016. As always, businesses will be open and it is more important than ever to congregate and frequent our local merchants. Look for the new Chester stickers designed by Jan and Peter Good, I and most of the merchants have them. A positive attitude and a smile will keep us going through the cold and construction!
During the campaign you expressed a desire for more opportunities for two way communication with your local leaders. I am exploring creative ways to inform you about projects and town news, as well as soliciting your opinions and input on a regular basis. One thing that you can do right now is sign up for the weekly Chester Townwide Email Blast from the First Selectman’s Office. Updates on construction projects, information about merchant activities and specials, town events and more – to be added to the list please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “town email list”.
– First Selectwoman Lauren Gister
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 – noon
Approved Budget for the Town of Chester FY 2014-2015
- Town of Chester Expenditures Budget 07 01 2014 to 06 30 2015
- Town of Chester Revenue Budget 07 01 2014 to 06 30 2015