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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Treatment plant connection to beach closings disputed

LOCKPORT -- Mayor Michael W. Tucker denied Friday that the city's wastewater treatment plant is to blame for bacteria that has forced seven closures of Krull Park Beach in Olcott this summer.

Newfane Supervisor Timothy R. Horanburg pointed the finger at Lockport on Thursday, saying that tests by the Niagara County Health Department showed high levels of E. coli and fecal coliform bacteria flowing from the city sewer plant down Eighteen Mile Creek to Olcott.

Tucker said, "The levels that are set for us [by the state Department of Environmental Conservation], we meet or exceed every single one. Until the Health Department does more testing, and they're going to do that next week, I disagree with [Horanburg]."

He said if the standards for cleaning up sewage are toughened as Horanburg wants, the city will attain the new goals.

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Community meeting slated on results of asbestos tests

The Environmental Justice Action Group is hosting a community meeting to hear results of asbestos testing requested recently by the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority for Kensington Heights. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Frank E. Merriweather Jr. Library, 1324 Jefferson Ave.

A panel of experts will answer questions and address concerns regarding the health impact of possible asbestos exposure on the children who live, play and go to school nearby.

The panel will consist of experts from the University at Buffalo, the Environmental Protection Agency, which performed the tests, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

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Meals on Wheels program selling coupon books

NORTH TONAWANDA -- North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels is selling "Save Around Buffalo 2012" coupon books until Nov. 30.

The book has more than 575 coupons for fast-food and sit-down restaurants, entertainment, recreation, golf, and retail services in the region.

The books cost $23 and will be available at the North Tonawanda Farmers' Market through September, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. weekdays at North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels, 100 Ridge Road, or by calling 693-1663.

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School District tax rates should have no surprises

Tax bills for Orchard Park Central School District property owners should carry no surprises.

The tax rates and tax levy are the same as the estimates predicted last spring.

"There was no real budget surprise between April, when we were setting the budget, and where we are now," said Jeffrey Petrus, assistant superintendent for business and support services. "We already knew what the state aid would be. It made it a little easier to project."

The tax levy set by the School Board last week is $51.19 million, up 5.48 percent over last year. The tax rates for the six towns in the district will rise 5 percent over last year.