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REBUILDING ROBINSON ST. GETS PRIORITY

NORTH TONAWANDA -- Rebuilding of 4,000 feet of Robinson Street between Oliver Street and the Twin City Memorial Highway in North Tonawanda is the first priority on City Engineer Dale W. Marshall's list of this year's capital improvement projects.

Marshall said $590,000 of the $1 million Robinson Street reconstruction will be state-funded.

The former Roblin Steel plant site on Oliver Street will be cleaned up and remaining buildings demolished on the abandoned site. The cost is $3 million. Marshall said the Roblin project will be financed by the state's Brownfield Industrial Site Cleanup Fund.

The city engineer will supervise the building of 300 feet of boat launch docks on the Niagara River in the city's Gratwick-Riverside Park off of River Road. The cost is $250,000.

Reconstruction of North Marion Street including installation of sewers, new roadway, sidewalks and curbs will be funded with $255,550 in federal block grant funds, Marshall said.

A bathroom will be constructed at the North Tonawanda Little League field on Wheatfield Street with $10,000 from the state Office of Parks and Recreation.

The city has on hand $300,000 to be used to construct the Ward Road outfall that will provide separate storm and sanitary sewers for the Oliver and Stenzil Street area. The outfall will cross River Road and the CSX Railroad tracks.

Medina nurses pact may be aired

MEDINA -- An informational meeting on the terms of a new contract for registered nurses at Medina Memorial Hospital may be held Tuesday, with a ratification vote the next day.

Edwin J. Robisch, staff and program director for the United Professional Nurses Association, said Sunday night after a meeting with the union negotiating committee that he hopes some fine points in the wording of the new deal can be worked out today between him and James N. Schmit, the hospital's negotiator.

"We're into language clarification," said Robisch.

Schmit said, "The main terms are as they have been. . . . Hopefully, we can work it out (today)."

The 74 nurses, who unionized in December 1999, are trying to work out their first contract with the hospital. The tentative understanding is for a contract retroactive to May 15 that would expire at the end of 2003.

The hospital would increase the amount it spends on nurses' salaries by about 12 percent over the life of the contract, but the sides have said it's difficult to express that as an average raise because the 74 nurses are making 41 different salaries.

The nurses will now have a pay scale, with a few nurses already being paid more than the top step on the scale receiving bonuses to prevent them from losing income.

League effort receives second grant

The League of Women Voters of Buffalo Niagara reports that it has received a second grant of $10,000 from the John R. Oishei Foundation for its Urban Sprawl Education Program.

The league launched the program last June to raise awareness in Erie and Niagara counties of the costs of urban sprawl -- loss of open space, declining real estate values, increased traffic congestion and higher pollution.

The program has made 55 public presentations on the issue. Last month, the league announced the formation of the Regional Coalition for Education on Sprawl, made up of 19 community organizations.

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