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>Storm reimbursement a concern to Beaumont

As Kenmore officials finish documenting expenses related to the October snowstorm, the mayor is skeptical about when federal reimbursement will arrive.

Contractors' invoices total more than $186,000, Mayor John W. Beaumont said at Tuesday's Village Board work session. When overtime incurred by village employees is included, it's approximately $350,000 from the village's budget, he said.

"That throws us out of kilter like everyone else," Beaumont said.

Village Clerk Kathleen Johnson, who has been working with representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said she was told federal reimbursement money should arrive by the end of the village's fiscal year in May.

But Beaumont fears it may be held up at the state level because of the vacancy in the comptroller's office and the possibility of audits of municipalities' claims.


>Home-energy specialists will offer assistance

Erie County home-energy assistance specialists will be available in the Harlem Road Community Center in Amherst on Thursday to help residents with applications.

The outreach team will be able to process about 80 applications for the federal home energy assistance program, which helps low-income families pay their winter energy costs.

Applicants will be seen from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the center, 4255 Harlem Road. They will be taken in the order in which they sign up, with appointments taking approximately 20 minutes. Residents should sign up starting at 8:30 a.m. For information, call 858-7870.

The event is coordinated through Erie County Legislator Thomas Loughran's office.


>State audit criticizes inventory, food storage

A state comptroller's audit of the Akron School District found minor flaws with the district's equipment inventory and food storage, problems that officials have since corrected.

Auditors said the district's inventory records lacked serial numbers for 125 color TV sets worth $1,700 each and the sets were not tagged. In the district's response to the audit, Akron officials noted that the TVs were "securely bolted to the walls of classrooms throughout the district" and were all accounted for.

Auditors also found that, although the district policy is not to serve food that is more than 2 years old, several cases of frozen eggs, beef patties and French toast were older than that. They also found 10 cases of dried cranberries as much as 5 years old. The district has since taken steps to ensure that older food is rotated to the front of the freezer and food is discarded before it is 2 years old.

The state audit also called into question 21 claims for expenditures from 2004 and 2005, which district officials addressed after the audit. Among the questionable claims was $1,034 for an official's five-night stay at a strategic planning seminar. Auditors said they could not find documentation the official had attended the conference. District officials noted that "a certificate of completion for the seminar . . . was framed and found displayed on the employee's office wall."

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