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FEDERAL FUNDS TARGETED FOR HOUSING IMPROVEMENTS

Cheektowaga plans to spend about $760,000 this year under federal housing rehabilitation programs for low- and moderate-income residents, authorities said this week.

A $1.36 million Community Development Block Grant program budget approved Monday by the Town Board forecasts expenditures of $230,000 for the rehabilitation of owner-occupied one-family homes, $75,000 for owner-occupied multifamily dwellings and $200,000 in program income from the repayment of loans.

In addition, a municipal housing consortium that also includes the towns of Amherst and Tonawanda is expected to bring Cheektowaga another $354,608.

Community Development Director Jerome J. Gabryszak said $254,608 of the consortium money is budgeted for housing rehabilitation and the remaining $100,000 for the town's first-time home-buyers program.

The federal programs are aimed at improving the town's aging housing stock.

A new wrinkle in this year's community development budget is $21,000 to test for lead-based paint in homes built before 1978, Gabryszak said.

The budget also includes about $7,200 for energy inspections to reduce low-income homeowners' heating bills, which would clear the way for free insulation work.

New community projects this year include $105,000 for storm sewers on Hedley Street and South Hedley Street, and $80,000 to equip a new playground in the Winston Avenue-Vegola Avenue neighborhood.

In the area of public safety, the budget provides $30,000 for police foot patrols, up from $25,000 last year.

Other expenses include $10,000 for sidewalk replacements, $9,500 for landscape improvements at the Cheektowaga Senior Citizens Center, $4,800 for housing counseling services, $15,000 for an outreach assistant and van driver at the senior center, and $28,000 for a children's summer day camp.

The town's community development grant includes $99,500 for the Village of Depew and $34,430 for the Village of Sloan.

Depew is budgeting $30,000 for police foot patrols, $36,000 for senior citizens center support staff and a van driver, $17,500 for replacing sidewalks and $16,000 for a residential security inspection and improvements program.

Sloan plans to use its block grant funds for storm and sanitary sewer improvements, according to the budget.

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