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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Chautauqua Opportunities gives village a boost

SILVER CREEK -- Village businesses will benefit from the matching funds program designed to enhance the appearance of the commercial district and increase the availability of rental units, under a revitalization grant announced Monday by Chautauqua Opportunities Inc.

Termed the "Silver Creek Business Welcome Corridor Project," the grant financing was made possible through the New York Main Street Program from the Housing Trust Corp.

Chautauqua Opportunities Executive Director Robert Keller and Mayor Kurt Lindstrom said the grant program will be used to encourage businesses to remain in the village. Matching funds will be available for up to 17 businesses along Main Street and Central Avenue, as well as Park Place and Howard Street.

The mayor said seven businesses are already prepared to improve their locations. Up to $10,000 is available for facade and $50,000 for major improvements. Businesses are reimbursed after they have completed the improvements.

Applications for funding will be reviewed by Chautauqua Opportunities.

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Sewer use rates hiked 5% by Village Board

SILVER CREEK -- A 5 percent increase in sewer use rates was imposed Monday by members of the Village Board.

Mayor Kurt Lindstrom explained the new rate as a funding source to deal with changes imposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. He said issues were raised with the inflow and infiltration systems at the village's sewage treatment plant.

The new rates will take effect with the Nov. 1 billing. Village residents can expect to pay $2.26 per 1,000 gallons, up from $2.15. Outside of the village, the rate will increase to $2.99 from $2.85 per 1,000 gallons.

The village is also continuing talks with the Town of Hanover for a possible merger of sewage treatment plant facilities.

In other matters, the board approved a budget transfer of $7,500 to pay for blueprints for a new barn to hold roadway salt.

Board members also allowed the mayor to sign an agreement to supply a police officer to the Silver Creek School District under a grant program.

Also, County Legislator David Wilder, D-Silver Creek, confirmed that six properties were sold at the Chautauqua County tax sale recently, all for more than the funds owed on them.

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Village feels effect of economic unrest

The Village of Fredonia is feeling the effects of the country's economic flux, officials said during Monday's Village Board meeting.

Because of the current reported instability of the village's bonding agent, XL Capital Insurance Co., the village's AAA bond rating has been reduced to B-2. Mayor Michael Sullivan said the village has done nothing to create this situation but is being punished for the weaknesses in the financial markets.

Village Administrator Rick St. George said he is working with the local M&T Bank to arrange a procedure to secure 1-year bond anticipation notes for the village when needed.

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