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The Grand Island Town Board on Monday night adopted a $5.4 million spending plan for 2005. The general fund budget has no increase in the tax rate, but there is a 27-cent hike in the tax rate for the highway budget. The general fund budget is the same as this year's, with a tax rate of $2.67 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The highway spending plan is $2.1 million, up about $250,000 from the current one, and the tax rate is $2.81 per $1,000 assessed valuation, up from the $2.54 rate in this year's plan. The increase includes $74,000 for repairs to roads and storm sewers, a $50,000 increase in payroll costs and $65,000 for debt services.

The board approved Councilman Daniel Robillard's call to amend the budget to exclude the 3 percent raises for Town Board members. His motion was approved, saving the town $4,132.

The following are the special districts budgets and tax rates: water, $2.5 million, $6.28 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, the same as this year's with water-use rates increasing by 5 cents to $2.70 per 1,000 gallons; Wastewater, $2.5 million, with a tax rate of $3.74, a 26 percent decrease with sewer rates staying the same at $4.20 per 1,000 gallons.

Also, garbage, $835,000, $126 per dwelling, up 10 percent from $114; lighting, $180,809 for 40 districts, with varying tax rates; and fire, $773,749, $1.14 per $1000 of assessed valuation, up 5 cents.


A Depew company will remove lead-contaminated soil from 25 neighboring homes as part of an agreement signed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

NL (National Lead) Industries also will remove contaminated soil from its plant at 3241 Walden Ave. near Transit Road, which is a Superfund site.

NL Industries owned and operated the 7.5-acre brass foundry from 1892 to 1972. Norampac Industries is the current owner of the facility. Operations at the foundry resulted in contamination of soil located at the foundry and at nearby residential properties located north and northeast of the foundry.

Testing of soil at nearby homes showed elevated levels of lead, some as high as 5,300 parts per million. The EPA has identified 10 additional properties where additional sampling is needed to determine if cleanup is necessary.

NL Industries is to meet with residents to obtain access to their property and to discuss details of the cleanup, which is to begin in the spring. Following the soil cleanup, the EPA will offer residents in the affected area an opportunity to have the interior of their homes sampled for lead to determine if indoor cleanups are necessary.

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