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>Public hearing set tonight on Seneca golf course

LEWISTON -- The Town Planning Board will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday to discuss plans for the proposed $15 million Seneca Nation golf course.

"This course is expected to be the nicest on [either] side of the river and will have a big 'wow' factor," Supervisor Fred Newlin said.

Newlin said the course is planned as a private enterprise and, unlike other Seneca developments, will be on the tax rolls.

The 257-acre course, bounded by the Robert Moses Parkway and Pletcher Road, was originally planned as a municipal course, something Newlin had long rejected due to the costs the town would incur. However, Newlin said the fact that the town had done some of the groundwork, such as picking a site and completing environmental studies, made the land a good choice for the Senecas.

Members of the public are invited to view plans for the course, and the meeting will be open to public comment. The town is expected to hold a second public hearing Feb. 1.

The Seneca Nation hopes to break ground this spring and use 2008 as a "growing year" for the course. This would be followed by the construction of a clubhouse and a first tee-off planned for 2009.


>Fire Department to get $607,500 federal grant

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The North Tonawanda Fire Department will receive a $607,500 federal grant through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighter Grants Program.

The funding will be used to purchase new vehicles to enhance the city's first-responder and firefighting capabilities.

Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, announced the grant, which is administered by the Homeland Security Office for Domestic Preparedness. The program awards grants directly to fire departments to improve their ability to protect the health and safety of the public.

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