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After four years, the idea of building a senior citizens center is again a town topic.

The Town Board Monday set a work session with its Ad Hoc Senior and Community Center Planning Board for 7 p.m. Jan. 8 at the former Lewiston-Porter Primary School, a portion of which is being used as a senior center. The school is located on Creek Road in Porter.

A plan to build a $750,000 senior center next to Town Hall was defeated in a 1986 referendum.

The latest estimates for building in the same location have risen to about $900,000, according to Holly A. Coty, director of the town Senior Services Department. The town has about $214,000 in a construction account dedicated to the center.

The town formed the ad hoc committee in March and since then, the committee has been studying the senior center issue. In a letter to the Town Board, Ms. Coty said the committee now needs further direction from the board.

Since March, her letter said, the committee has reviewed and updated preliminary building plans; reviewed several possible locations, including property owned by the New York Power Authority and the Village of Lewiston, and contacted state legislators.

This time out the center is being proposed as a joint senior citizens and community center.

The letter said the committee has determined that there is a clearly demonstrated need for such a center and that a location adjacent to Town Hall -- which is at the geographic center of town -- is the most suitable. The committee also has investigated and found no grant money available to assist with construction.

The committee also has considered the reasons for the defeat of the 1986 referendum and ways to avert a similar outcome if another public vote is held. Councilwoman Mary Beth Brado said those issues would be discussed at the Jan. 8 meeting.

None of the present members was on the Town Board in 1986.

In another matter, the board set a meeting for 4 p.m. Jan. 7 with Richard Russell, business manager for Mount St. Mary's Hospital, to discuss the taxable status of the hospital's Medical Arts Building and Child Care Center. Deputy Supervisor James F. Mudd said the facilities have not been as profitable as hoped and the hospital would like to convert them to not-for-profit status and take them off the tax rolls. Also to be discussed is a second medical arts building being proposed by a group of doctors, who would construct and own it.

The board directed Benjamin N. Hewitt, counsel to the town, to investigate the legal questions. Hewitt said he did not believe it would be possible to change the status of taxable property after the fact. Councilman Calvin C. Schultz also asked Hewitt to study the hospital's original agreement with the town to determine whether the hospital may sell property to the doctors.

In other business, the board:

Received a reply from the U.S. Department of the Interior regarding the construction of cut-rate gasoline stations on Tuscarora Indian Reservation land bordering state and town roads. The letter directed town inquiries to the state attorney general.

Agreed to look into providing "Neighborhood Watch" signs after a request from residents in the Colonial Village area, who have formed a Neighborhood Watch group in response to recent break-ins. Francis E. Mahar, highway superintendent, said other neighborhoods also would probably be requesting signs, since "they've all been robbed."

Reinstated the 10-ton limit on Pletcher Road between Creek and Harold roads. The limit had been lifted since July so Modern Disposal Services Inc. trucks could use Pletcher Road while repairs were being done to Model City Road. Now that the repairs have been completed, Pletcher Road residents asked that the 10-ton limit be reinstated.

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