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'DEAD' SHOW IS LIVE ISSUE IN HOST TOWN; ORCHARD PARK ASSESSES JULY CONCERT DEFICIENCIES

Nearly five months after the Grateful Dead Concert in Rich Stadium, the Orchard Park Town Board Wednesday night demonstrated problems surrounding the July 16 concert are far from a dead issue.

In July, the board lambasted the Buffalo Bills organization for not providing adequate parking and lavatory facilities for early concert arrivals, many of whom camped out at the Erie Community South Campus on Southwestern Boulevard.

Town and county officials met last week in an effort to prevent similar occurrences at future events.

Councilman David M. Buyer -- who has spearheaded efforts to resolve problems at stadium concerts -- said that "it is unlikely that rock concerts will be held in 1991."

Buyer said a $1.8 million playing field and drainage system is to be installed in Rich Stadium during June and July, preventing its use for concerts during those months.

"No activity can go on in the facility while the turf is installed," he said, adding that "rock concerts and tractor pulls may not be able to take place on the new turf" once it's installed.

Buyer added that, if concerts do occur in the future, the county has agreed to have its Highway Department install snow fencing at the ECC South Campus before each concert to prevent early arrivals from camping on college property.

The fencing should force concertgoers to camp at satellite lots on Big Tree and Abbott roads where lavatory facilities are provided, Buyer said.

In another matter, the board discussed options available to the town in hastening work on a house being built at 41 Fairway. Officials had previously threatened to classify the house as a nuisance and consider ordering its demolition if the project did not move forward.

Officials said the house has been under construction for four years and its current building permit expires Dec. 13. "That project has been dragging on," Supervisor Dennis J. Mill said. "The neighbors have been more than patient."

Building Inspector Robert W. Sweet said that enough work has been done on the house to make it "difficult to condemn." He said the house is ready for electrical inspection, most of the roof has been installed and the siding is partially complete.

Councilman D. Patrick Curley suggested the town require the owner to supply the board with a bond to guarantee the project's completion.

Councilman Paul D. Barnas, who noted the owner is trying to sell his present house to finance the project's completion, suggested the board "bend a little" due to the current slump in the real estate market.

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