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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Collins uses road project as a boost to Ranzenhofer

Erie County Executive Chris Collins trumpeted the start of work to rebuild Tonawanda Creek Road in Clarence on Wednesday as he continued to boost the State Senate campaign of Michael H. Ranzenhofer, a county legislator.

Ranzenhofer, R-Amherst, has been a legislator since spring floods washed out a section of the road in 2004, but for various reasons its reconstruction has been delayed.

Ranzenhofer is in a high-profile race to represent the area in the Senate after incumbent Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville, announced her retirement. He's running against Democrat Joe Mesi.

Collins has put a priority on the project. At a roadside news conference, he called on Comptroller Mark C. Poloncarz to start paying the contractor, Accadia Construction.

But Poloncarz later said payment for Accadia will have to wait until the county can borrow the millions of dollars to finance that project and others.

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