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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

Division of Budget sets two town hall meetings

The state Division of the Budget will hold town hall meetings Saturday in Buffalo and Rochester to discuss priorities for the 2008-09 New York state budget.

The Buffalo meeting will be at 10 a.m. in the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Parkway. The Rochester meeting begins at 3 p.m. in the University of Rochester Medical Center auditorium, 415 Elmwood Ave. Both sessions will be webcast and can be seen at www.budget.state.ny.us.

Attending the meetings will be Paul Francis, state director of the budget, and other officials who will be drawing up the executive budget that Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer will introduce to the Legislature in January.

After officials make their presentations, the public can offer statements and ask questions. Those preregistered will speak first, while others will be accommodated as time allows. To preregister, call (518) 473-3885.

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High school chorus places 2nd at festival

SANBORN -- The Niagara-Wheatfield High School chorus took second place last weekend in the 28th annual Choral Composition Contest and Festival at Ithaca College.

Choral director David Curtis said his students placed high in the prestigious competition Saturday among five other schools selected from New York and Massachusetts for the yearly event. School choruses are picked by contest judges to perform original choral compositions.

Curtis said his students did extremely well as they performed "Snow-Flakes," by Charles Kaufmann in their second consecutive appearance at the festival.

Rather than the group's choral ability, the entries "are based on the compositional merit of the piece," Kaufmann said.

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Developer again seeks new Lake Road zoning

PORTER -- A developer whose rezoning request for a Lake Road parcel was denied last year has again approached town officials with a proposed townhouse project.

In a presentation to the Town Board on Tuesday night, Robert Slaven said he wants the zoning change so he can build 26 townhouse units instead of 10 units allowed under the current zoning.

Slaven, who owns about 5 acres on Lake Road near the Robert Moses Parkway, made the same rezoning request for that parcel only to see it denied by the town's Zoning Board of Appeals in June 2006.

Slaven said his new plan is "similar" to what was previously presented, but that he has addressed issues raised by the town in its rejection. Slaven said he has engineering plans that would resolve concerns over drainage and traffic.

He also said he believes the town's concerns over consistency with its master plan are not a valid reason to prevent his project from moving forward.

Town Attorney Michael J. Dowd said there is a question of whether the Town Board has to entertain the application.

Dowd said he will research the issue and have an answer in 30 days.

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