The Town of Newstead is located in the northeastern corner of Erie County in Western New York. The Town is a rural community with over 40% of the area devoted to agriculture. This agriculture characteristic is the Town's basic heritage going back to its founding in 1823.
The central business district and Town government headquarters is located in the Village of Akron, located in the eastern central part of the Town. A portion of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation is in the northeastern corner of the Town. The Town is physically split in two by a unique geographical feature, the Onondaga escarpment.
In 1788, New York State established the state's counties and towns. Towns were not new in 1788, however, and the laws established that year specified boundaries, town officials and municipal responsibilities that codified, in many instances, arrangements that already existed. At this time, Western New York was part of the Country of the Senecas.
The Town of Newstead is one of 932 towns in New York State. There are two classes of towns in the state. Basically a rural town and a suburban town. The Town of Newstead is a rural town and is governed slightly differently than a suburban town. Population of the town is estimated over 9,000 (Newstead and Akron).
The Town of Newstead suffered a historical setback when town records were destroyed in a 1870's fire. We have little to help us put the puzzle together on the numerous events of our growing community from 1823 to 1870. We have attempted to compile several Town offices and who was elected to them.
The Town met in several of the local businessmen offices over the years. There was a town hall and jail located on the east side of Buffalo Street between Main and John Streets in the early 1900's. The current town hall was built in the late 1930's.
The Town seal was developed in the 1970's. The design was created by Lanis Ritecz. She was assisted by the Town's Supervisor Kelsey Webster and Board member Terry Newcomb.
We have listed all the current Town committees and those offices that were at one time elected in the Town of Newstead.
The Town of Newstead - Today
During the past few decades the Town of Newstead has struggled with its identity. While being an agriculture and rural community, it is striving to provide services to its residents and grow at a controlled rate.
A decade ago, the Town Board took several measures to help guide the future of the Town. It developed its first Town Master Plan, bought vacant land through grant money for future use, started to expand the water districts and purchased the rights to various abandoned railroads in our Town.
The railroad property has enhanced the Town in several ways. Some of the property was used by the Village to enhance electric service to the Village. The railroad property from the Village easterly has a bikepath used by the entire community. This year that path is extending to the Town of Clarence.
The Town started to look at cooperative ventures with the other municipalities and businesses to enhance our community. Creation of a Town sewer district to promote industry in the Town was a step in this direction. This changed a vacant quarry into a very active commercial business. While this type of working together has been limited, the Town is meeting with the Village on sewer and water service to the Town.
We have formed a Town wide refuse district, set up ditching and conservation boards to be involved with the continuing manicure of the Town's development. We have an active Library committee researching the possibility of a new library in our community.
Our Town highway department maintains all town roads in a superb manner. Our Town has roads maintained by Erie County, New York State and the Town. We plow several roads for the County in the Winter season. The highway department helps in the Town wide ditching program.
The Town government has continued to do a good job maintaining services, enhancing life of its residents and keeping taxes in check.