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The Town of Tonawanda will spend nearly $2.8 million in federal money this year to improve the quality of life for residents in several aging neighborhoods in the town.

Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used to help residents make home repairs, to buy and tear down decaying houses and to provide community policing.

Town officials will unveil the 2001 plan for the grants at Monday's Town Board meeting.

The town received $2.1 million in Community Development Block Grant money, $355,000 in Home Ownership Made Equal Investment Partnership Act Grant money and $300,000 in repayments from a revolving loan program.

"The town's neighborhoods have always been in great shape, but this furthers what the town is trying to accomplish" in preventing decay of its housing stock, said Robert J. Cymerman, administrator of the town's block grant program.

The town has received HUD financing for various housing programs since 1978.

Over the past 23 years, the town has spent $44 million to help more than 18,000 residents, Supervisor Ronald H. Moline said.

The town has built nearly six miles of new streets, curb drainage, water and sewer lines, and an expanded senior center, and rehabilitated more than 1,100 houses with low-cost loans, he said.

The bulk of the money is invested in the Sheridan-Parkside, Kenilworth and Old Town neighborhoods, where the homes are 40 or 50 years old, Cymerman said.

The largest portion of the block grants, $566,316, will be used to rehabilitate single-family homes throughout the town.

The town provides eligible homeowners with a no-interest loan of up to $14,000 -- paid back when they sell their home -- to make needed repairs to their cellar, roof or exterior, Cymerman said.

The town's Home Ownership for Parkside's Enhancement program buys and demolishes deteriorating homes in Sheridan-Parkside and builds single-family homes in their place. The town built eight homes in 2000 and will build four more this spring.

"We're trying to bring people back to the neighborhood and give them an opportunity to be homeowners," said Councilman Joseph P. Millemaci.

The town also will spend $185,677 in block grant money on a community policing program in the Parkside Village Courts, Lincoln Park and Kenilworth neighborhoods.

Kenmore will receive $215,123 to reconstruct Mang Avenue.

This money will pay for the first phase of the project, from Military Road to Wilber Avenue, said Charles J. Sottile, the village's superintendent of public works.

The second phase would extend the work east to Elmwood Avenue in 2002. The project includes repaving, new curbs and, possibly, new sidewalks.

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