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The Town Board voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve an out-of-court settlement in a lawsuit with the Niagara County Sewer District for nearly $1 million.

"I thought it was a fair settlement as far as the way it's being paid back," said Councilman Wallace W. Blake Jr. However, "The Town of Niagara residents are going to . . . see an increase in the sewer rates because of it."

He would not say what the rate increase would be because the Town Board still is in the process of formulating the 1997 budget. "It's definitely going to hurt the residents but it's something that we definitely don't have a say over," Blake said.

The sewer district sued the town in early 1995 after a lengthy dispute with former Supervisor James A. Sacco over his refusal to pay the town's share of capital improvement costs in the six-town district beginning in 1992.

Cambria Supervisor Wright H. Ellis, chairman of the six-town sewer district, said the out-of-court settlement, approved by the Sewer District board on Sept. 25, commits the town to paying off the four years of unpaid bills, plus "a good business interest rate" over a five-year period.

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