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HEATING COSTS FORCE PROJECT SUSPENSIONS

Because of higher heating bills this winter, the Wales Town Board on Tuesday voted to postpone some planned capital projects.

The board did vote to proceed with work on the front foyer of Town Hall but decided to postpone purchasing a new display sign for the front lawn of the building.

The board will seek bids for repairing the roof of the highway building but will hold off paving the parking lots, putting up new fencing or adding new plants. A new phone system also was put on hold.

Supervisor Mary Weinman said funding is in place for a new playground for the Town Park and the project is expected to go to bid by March. The playground should be completed by summer.

The playground committee has $27,074.69 in hand, including $20,000 donated from the town. The rest came primarily from fund-raisers.

Councilman Bud Bogucki said the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post plans to contribute $200.

On another issue, the board learned Friends of the Woodchuck Spring, a nonprofit group of residents who have banded together over the past few years in an effort to save a spring from being permanently shut off from the public, expects to have the spring open again in seven to eight months as a "nature preserve for animals and birds," Weinman said.

Donations are needed for legal fees, the removal of rocks and the creation of berms.

The group expects to acquire the spring for a "nominal amount" and is in its final stages of negotiations with the Iroquois Central School District, the owner of the site near Wales Primary School.

The spring, long a source of local drinking water, was blocked off to the public by the school district because of concerns over liability.

After a public hearing, the board adopted an ordinance requiring that owners of homes or businesses along the 1,000 feet of sidewalk in the town keep them clear of snow, ice and other obstacles.

Failure to clear snow or obstacles within 24 hours could result in a fine of up to $250 for every day of the violation and/or 15 days in jail. The new ordinance is effective immediately.

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