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It will cost Town of Hamburg residents more to own a dog, go to the beach or stay in shape next year, under a variety of fee increases approved by the Town Board Monday night.

The increases are in addition to a previously approved property tax increase of nearly 6 percent and are aimed at meeting rising expenses, according to town officials.

Following a public hearing, the board increased the fee for a dog license by $3 to $7.50, which, coupled with the state fee, means it will cost $18 to license an unneutered or unspayed dog and $10 for a neutered or spayed dog, effective Jan. 1. Seniors 65 and older are eligible for a $3 discount.

The local fee was last raised in 1995 and the increase puts Hamburg on a par with Orchard Park, West Seneca and the Town of Tonawanda, according to Town Clerk Catherine Rybczynski.

Golfers were spared an increase due to a 3 percent hike in revenues at the golf course, but many other recreation activities will cost more.

Membership in the fitness center will cost $5 to $10 more; many clinics that use school facilities will cost $5 more; beach stickers will go up $5 to $15 and, for the first time, seniors will be charged $5 for beach stickers.

Renting the Taylor Road log cabin will cost $50 more (effective in 2006 because it is booked 13 months in advance) and renting ice time will cost $5 more per hour (effective for the 2005-06 season).

The increased fees are comparable to what other towns charge, Councilman Thomas Quatroche Jr. said.

In other action, the board:

Heard Councilwoman Kathleen C. Hochul announce that the state Department of Transportation has rejected the town's request for a traffic light at South Park Avenue and Scranton Road, saying there is no demonstrated need. "We will ask again," Hochul said.

Endorsed a request by the Hamburg Airport for a state grant for paving, hangar repairs, upgrading of the fuel farm and maintenance equipment.


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