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Vote to extend key corridor is Tuesday

The first phase of the $2 million project to provide better access to the city's commercial center by extending Meadow Drive could get under way soon after a City Council vote Tuesday.

The vote would authorize Mayor Lawrence V. Soos to sign an agreement with the state Department of Transportation, which would get funds flowing for the two-phase project to extend the street about a mile east to Erie Avenue.

Soos opposed the project last year, vetoing it in the current budget. But the Council overrode the veto by a 4-1 vote.

A $1.6 million grant, obtained through the office of Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, will cover 80 percent of the costs.

Although the city will be responsible for the remaining $400,000, the state will pick up 75 percent, leaving the city with a $100,000 bill for the entire project.

Council President Brett Sommer said that money will be recouped through special assessments on property owners who benefit from the extension.

The area contains some residential parcels, but most are commercial and manufacturing.

The first phase, which involves preliminary engineering and right-of-way acquisition, totals $500,000, but will cost the city $25,000.

"I'm very pleased with the new state funding; it will cost us virtually nothing for this project," Sommer said.

The extension, he said, will make more land available for commercial development, improve access to the city center and main shopping district, and increase public safety by providing better movement for police and fire vehicles.

City Engineer Dale Marshall said the second phase, actual construction of the "much-needed corridor" would not begin until next year.

If Wal-Mart succeeds in building a supercenter on the former Melody Fair site, the street extension would alleviate traffic flow in the Wurlitzer Park neighborhood, Marshall said.


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