BY JOE OLENICK email@example.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — There wasn’t much in the way of confrontation at Thursday’s 5th Ward candidate forum, but there were a few concerns residents shared with candidate Phyllis J. Green and incumbent, two-term Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick.
The forum was put together by the Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope, a nonprofit organization. Prior to the forum, NOAH polled Republicans in the ward about issues that were important to them.
Questions, derived from the polling, ranged from attracting new residents and businesses, improving infrastructure, and how to promote Lockport to dealing with blight in the city.
Green and Genewick were asked about the city’s “Impact Zone,” a specific geographic area that is targeted for increased police patrol and building code enforcement. That includes part of the 5th Ward.
Genewick said the zone has been successful, citing 200 arrests and 650 traffic tickets that have been given out. Also, 850 properties were inspected with 500 letters detailing code violations sent out.
“But my opponent didn’t (support the Impact Zone when it started),” Genewick said.
Green said she would back expanding the zone but would want to know the costs of doing so. She said knowing what other cities are doing in similar situations would be a benefit, as there could be a drawback with the Impact Zone.
“There could be a negative effect,” Green said. “It might be hard to sell homes within the zone.”
Both candidates said the city’s water and sewer lines needed to be replaced.
Any water leak was lost money, Green said. She advocated putting together a long-term comprehensive plan to deal with the problem.
Genewick said working with North Tonawanda to share water and sewer services could yield savings for the city. Also, the alderman said, a new paver would help Lockport to repair roads more efficiently.