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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Board OKs salaries in reorganization session

POMFRET -- Highway Superintendent James Oakes Jr. is the highest-paid Town of Pomfret employee, earning $54,849 a year, it was revealed during the Town Board's reorganization meeting Wednesday night.

Oaks, who has held the town post 34 years, also earns $2,600 annually as cemetery maintenance supervisor, $1,500 as insurance administrator and $1,850 as public works superintendent.

Board members approved the salaries of all town employees during the meeting.

Among elected officials, Supervisor Donald Steger earns $9,000 a year and each of the four Town Board members, $4,500 a year. Both town justices earn $14,915 each.

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>Hunt Road speed limit to drop to 45 mph

BUSTI -- The state Department of Transportation has agreed to lower the speed limit on Hunt Road to 45 mph.

"We didn't ask for any specific number, we just asked that they evaluate it because of the number of accidents over the years and the dangerous intersections," Supervisor Kathy Sullivan said. "They got back to us at the beginning of December with the reduction to 45 mph."

The affected section of Hunt is about three miles, from Southwestern Drive to the North Harmony line. Sullivan said the DOT will not announce when it will post the new speed limit signs.

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>State grant to help renovate observatory

FREWSBURG -- State Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-Olean, has obtained a $20,000 grant to help renovate the Martz Observatory and its telescope by making them accessible.

"With this funding, we will look forward to making the observatory available to students and the community through our educational programs," said Gary Nelson, president of the Marshall Martz Memorial Astronomical Association.

The observatory on Robin Hill Road outside Frewsburg is undergoing repairs to its dome and the mounting base for its 24-inch and 30-inch telescopes, which are newly renovated. Work will be completed this summer.

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