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Where we live
A town-by-town digest of what's happening in our communities

Amherst

A All town-owned buildings may soon be designated "Smoke Free Zones."

Council Member Guy Marlette and Supervisor Barry Weinstein have co-sponsored a resolution to be considered Monday that would ban smoking on town property.

The designation would forbid all smoking within town buildings and within 25 feet of the town's public entranceways, windows and ventilation areas around the building.

Last year, the Town Board had previously approved a "Smoke Free Youth and Recreation Facilities" resolution that prohibited smoking in town-owned community centers or on recreation fields, and within 100 feet of any center's entranceway.

The Town Board will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers of the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville. The meeting will be preceded by a work session at 3 p.m. Follow a live blog of the regular meeting at BuffaloNews.com.

Also this week:

*At 5 p.m. today, the Williamsville Village Meeting House will host a free showing of the movie "The Producers." The movie will be preceded by live music by the Williamsville North String Quartet at 4:30 p.m. The Meeting House is located at 5658 Main St.

*The Williamsville School Board will hold a special meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the District Office board room, 105 Casey Rd., East Amherst. The board will vote on the the Erie I BOCES administrative budget. School board candidates names will also be announced.

***

Aurora

The East Aurora Village Board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday in Village Hall, Main and Payne streets.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will meet in a work session at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 300 Gleed Ave.

*The School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Main Street Building library. The board plans to adopt a budget for 2012-2013 at that time.

***

Buffalo

The Common Council will interview applicants seeking the appointment to the vacant South District seat at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Council Chambers.

The city received resumes from 11 applicants who want to fill the seat left empty after Democrat Michael P. Kearns won a March 20 special election for the 145th Assembly District.

Bryan J. Bollman, an aide to Council President Richard A. Fontana, and Matthew Fisher, who was an aide to Kearns, are among the candidates.

Former Erie County Legislator Timothy J. Whalen pulled himself out of consideration last week.

Others seeking the appointment are Linda M. Bain, a registered nurse; Patrick B. Burke, a bartender at the Buffalo Irish Center; Joseph M. Gartler III, who works for Meritain Health; and A.J. Verel, a former world champion kickboxer.

The interviews are open to the public.

Also this week:

*The Common Council will hold its premeeting caucus at 2 p.m. Monday in Room 1417 of City Hall.

*The Board of Ethics will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Room 1317 of City Hall.

*The Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency's Loan Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Room 920 of City Hall.

*The Common Council will meet in regular session at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers.

*The Water Board will meet at 8 a.m. Wednesday in Room 502 of City Hall.

*The Zoning Board will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Room 901 of City Hall.

*The Preservation Board will meet at 3 p.m. Thursday in Room 901 of City Hall.

***

Cheektowaga

Upgrading computer software for the offices of the Cheektowaga town clerk and building inspections department at a cost of $94,600 will highlight Monday's Town Board agenda.

The 6:45 p.m. meeting will be held in the Council Chambers of Town Hall, 3301 Broadway.

The town seeks the new computer software in order "to better manage the building permit process, building inspection system and animal control system in the town clerk's office and Building Inspections Department."

Board members are expected to accept a proposal from Business Automation Services for the contract for the software, system support and training.

A public hearing about amending the town's traffic ordinance concerning parking and other rules on Duke Road and Tolsma Place will precede the regular business of the town board.

Also this week:

*Erie County Historian Doug Kohler will make a presentation about the "History of the Irish in Western New York" at 7 p.m. Thursday from the Cheektowaga Senior Center, 3349 Broadway, as part of the town historical society's monthly program. The event, to be held in the banquet hall, is free and open to the public.

*The Traffic Safety Commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

*The Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers at Town Hall.

*The Cheektowaga Board of Education, which is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at the high school, 3600 Union Road.

*The Cheektowaga-Sloan Board of Education, which is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the board room at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, 166 Halstead Ave., Sloan.

*The Depew School Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Depew Middle School library, 5201 S. Transit Road.

*The Cleveland Hill Board of Education, which is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 105 Mapleview Road.

*A special BOCES administrative budget vote and election will be held beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the Maryvale School District.

***

Clarence

Unsightly tall grass in the yards of vacant homes is a nuisance the town intends to mow down.

After accepting bids, the town is choosing a contractor who would be "on call" to cut grass at a property when it grows taller than 10 inches high, said David Metzger, senior code enforcement officer.

The system would work like this: when the grass reaches the offending height, the owner -- usually a bank -- would be told to cut it. If the owner fails to do so within 10 days, the town would call the contractor to do the job. The property owner would then have 30 days to pay for the cost of the work before a lien would be put on the property.

Town Councilman Patrick Casilio said the tall-grass problem often stems from out-of-town owners neglecting to maintain their properties. "It really puts a lot of duress on our residents when they have to live with something like that," he said.

Metzger said about 30 properties in town are "under the microscope," though a number of those get resolved through "normal attrition. In this contract, we may only cut a handful a year."

Also this week:

*The School Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Clarence High School lecture hall, 9625 Main St., to adopt a $72 million budget. (Voters will cast ballots May 15.) Also, Monday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for prospective Board of Education candidates to submit nominating petitions.

*The Town Board holds a special meeting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, to discuss repairs for the Clarence Public Library.

*The Planning Board meets at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Town Hall, following a 6:30 p.m. work session.

*The Clarence Industrial Development Agency meets at 8 a.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

*Brush pickup in the town begins Thursday. Further details of pickup zones are available on the town's website.

*St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 4275 Harris Hill Road, holds a forum on teenage alcohol and drug abuse, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday. The forum is open to the public, and refreshments will be available.

***

Evans

Volunteers are needed for a neighborhood cleanup of the Lake Erie Beach community.

The cleanup will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

The event is sponsored by the Lake Erie Beach Neighborhood Revitalization Task Force in collaboration with the Town of Evans and Lake Erie Beach Fire Company.

"To mobilize a neighborhood cleanup, even for one day, can have a positive visible impact on the community," said Lori Szewczyk, director of community development for the town. "One of our goals is to encourage community pride among the residents of Lake Erie Beach that will stretch beyond this one-day event.

The Lake Erie Beach community is bounded by Herr Road, Old Lake Shore Road, Reeves Road and Route 5. It's one of the more densely populated areas of the town, with some 2,700 people in 1,285 houses, many of which are former beach cottages turned into year-round residences.

The cleanup will focus on vacant lots, parks, recreational and commercial areas and major thoroughfares in the Lake Erie Beach area.

"This effort will require community support from those willing to volunteer time, talent and resources," said Lake Erie Beach Fire Chief Guy Canonico Jr. "We are asking the community to join this effort to help make our neighborhood cleaner and safer."

Volunteers will be mobilized out of the Lake Erie Beach Fire Hall at 9483 Lakeshore Road, where they'll also drop off the trash that was collected.

The rain date will be Saturday, April 28.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Szewczyk at 549-3915.

Also this week:

*The Lake Shore School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the media center of the high school, 959 Beach Road.

*The Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday for its regularly scheduled board meeting in Town Hall, 8787 Erie Road. An agenda meeting will start at 6:30 p.m.

*The Boys & Girls Club of Lake Shore is hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the W.T. Hoag Educational Center, 42 Sunset Blvd. Cost is $5 per person. Children under 5 are free.

***

Grand Island

Some students on Grand Island will get a very special escort to school Wednesday.

As part of the town's annual "Operation Safe Stop," law enforcement officials will follow obey traffic laws intended to keep school children safe.

By law, motorists must stop for school buses when their red lights are flashing. It is illegal to pass a stopped school bus for any reason.

Erie County Sheriff Tim Howard will meet with residents from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road.

It is the first in a series of town hall meetings scheduled for 2012 throughout Erie County. Howard and his management team will explain what services the Sheriff's Office provides, answer citizens' questions and address concerns about crime trends in communities.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will meet Monday in Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Road, for a workshop at 6:30 p.m. and will hold its regular board meeting at 8 p.m. There will be a public hearing during the regular meeting as the board prepares to adopt revisions to the town's sign code.

*The School Board will hold a brief special meeting at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Bible Presbyterian Church, 1780 Love Road, to act on approval of the Erie 1 BOCES budget and election of BOCES' board members.

The board vote will precede a meeting of TeamWatch at 6:30 p.m., which will include a presentation on the school district's 2012-13 budget. The Red Cross will be at the Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Road, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday to take blood donations.

*Shakespeare in the Mall will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday in Grand Island High School's Viking Mall, 1100 Ransom Road. Sponsored by the school's English Department, the free event includes student performances of the immortal bard's works in the auditorium; Shakespeare-related artwork in Viking Mall plus trivia questions and answers.

*The Grand Island Lions Club will hold its 43rd annual spaghetti dinner Monday in the ballroom in the Holiday Inn, 100 Whitehaven Road. Dinner will be served from 5 to 8 p.m., and takeout meals will be available.

The price is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 4 through 12.

For tickets and information, contact Lion Dick Crawford at 818-6992.

***

Hamburg

The villages of Blasdell and Hamburg will each receive $100,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds this year. The money will be used for infrastructure reconstruction in Blasdell and for water line reconstruction in Hamburg.

Also this week:

*The Village Board will conduct a work session at 5:30 p.m. Monday followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in Village Hall, 100 Main St.

*The town Planning Board will conduct a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Room 7B in Town Hall, 6100 South Park Ave., on a request from Calkins Used Auto Parts on Camp Road for a special permit to continue operation as a junkyard. The Town Board recently approved an ordinance that outlaws junkyards, but the existing junkyard would be allowed to continue with a special permit.

*The Blasdell Village Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Village Hall, 121 Miriam Ave.

*The geology and scenery of Iceland will be discussed and illustrated by Rick Batt, a geology professor at Buffalo State College, at 7 p.m. Thursday in the auditorium of the Gateway Executive Office, 3556 Lake Shore Road. The event is sponsored by the Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center.

***

Lackawanna

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 174 Ridge Road.

Also this week:

*The School Board will meet in a special session at 5 p.m. Tuesday in Room 202, 245 South Shore Blvd. The board is scheduled to vote on the Erie 1 BOCES administrative budget and for two board vacancies. The board also is scheduled to adopt 2012-2013 proposed school budget.

*4th Ward Council Member Keith Lewis will host a Town Hall meeting from 7 to 8:30 Thursday in the Lackawanna Senior Center.

***

Lancaster

The School Board is expected to vote Tuesday on the proposed 2011-12 district budget.

The $91.5 million budget raises spending by 4.47 percent, or $3.9 million, according to a statement to board members from Schools Superintendent Edward J. Myszka.

The tax rate for residents of Lancaster, who make up the largest part of the district's population, would rise 1.51 percent -- or 24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value -- from the current school year.

"The budget maintains all educational programs," Myszka wrote.

District residents will vote on the budget May 15, following a public hearing on May 7.

Also Tuesday, the board will hold a public hearing on changes to the district's code of conduct to ensure the document complies with the state's anti-bullying Dignity for All Students Act.

The School Board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the William Street School, 5201 William St.

Also this week:

*The Town Board will meet at 8 p.m. Monday in Town Hall, 21 Central Ave. The meeting is preceded by a board work session at 7.

*The board is expected to vote on the site plan for the GreenField Terrace project, an expansion of the GreenFields Continuing Care Community.

*GreenField Terrace would add seven household-style residences for senior citizens with memory problems to the GreenFields campus, on Broadway between Cemetery and Pavement roads.

*Niagara Lutheran Health System initially plans to construct four, L-shaped buildings, around a central courtyard, on 8 1/2 acres east of the existing GreenFields property.

*The town Planning Board recommended approval of the site plan, and a joint meeting of the planning and town boards earlier this month found no harmful impact on the environment.

*The Village Planning Commission is set to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway.

***

Orchard Park

The School Board will meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the administration building to vote on the Erie 2 BOCES budget and board members.

Also this week:

*The town Economic Development Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal center, 4295 S. Buffalo St.

*The town Public Safety Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal center.

*The town Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the municipal center.

*The Town Board will conduct a work session at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the supervisor's conference room followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m. in the courtroom in the municipal center.

*The village Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the municipal center.

*There will be a free computer and electronics recycling collection for village residents from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Village Department of Public Works, 100 West Highland Ave. Televisions, computer equipment and miscellaneous electronic equipment will be accepted.

***

Southern Erie County

The Elma Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road.

On the agenda will a final site plan approval for Transitowne Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep, to move the maintenance department to 2989 Transit Road, current home of On-Line Auto. Transitowne's purchase of On-Line Auto depends on the final approval. The dealership intends to build a 3,740-square-foot addition in the On-Line courtyard for the maintenance department. The rest of Transitowne operations will remain on its original site across the road.

Also this week:

*The Boston Conservation Advisory Council will meet at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall, 8500 Boston State Road.

*The Boston Town Board will conduct a work session at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday followed by a regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.

*The Elma Town Board will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Town Hall. The board plans to recognize local Eagle Scout Alexander Ducoli, son of Frank and Lynn Ducoli.

*The Marilla Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall, 1740 Two Rod Road.

***

City of Tonawanda

The Common Council will meet on Tuesday in City Hall, 200 Niagara St.

The meeting will begin with an informal agenda discussion at 6 p.m. followed by a formal session at 7 p.m.

Also this week:

*The School Board will hold its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Tonawanda High School, 100 Hinds St.

***

Town of Tonawanda

A combination of interest-free and low-interest financing has been approved by New York State for the second phase of a sewer replacement project in the town, whose start has been delayed because of a legal battle.

Last week, the state Environmental Facilities Corporation approved $16.7 million in short-term financing for the Parker Fries Interceptor Project, a four-part initiative to replace the main sanitary sewer serving the eastern part of the town.

Half of the loan is interest-free and the other half is low-interest; the town is expected to refinance both loans in 2014 with long-term financing through the EFC.

Though the cost of this phase was estimated at $17 million, the company awarded the contract had bid $8.82 million.

Construction has been delayed by a legal challenge by a company whose low bid of $7.06 million was rejected by the Town Board.

The case is before a state Supreme Court justice, who issued a restraining order that blocks the project from proceeding until the case is resolved. A decision is expected in a week or two, the judge's office said.

Also this week:

*Kenmore Village Improvement Society holds its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday in the community center, 135 Wilber Ave., Kenmore.

*A regular meeting of the Kenmore-Tonawanda School Board begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the community room of the Philip Sheridan Building, 3200 Elmwood Ave.

*The Kenmore Village Board meets at 8 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers at the municipal building, 2919 Delaware Ave. A work session begins at 6:30 in the mayor's office.

***

West Seneca

The municipal purchase of a sewer camera might be a mundane and routine item in many towns, but in West Seneca it's important news.

That's just what the Town Board is expected to do at a 7 p.m. Monday scheduled meeting at West Seneca Town Hall, 1250 Union Road. The $42,655 expected purchase from the Pierce Equipment Company will fund the new sewer camera and accessories to help the town progress with its planned multimillion-dollar upgrade of its sewer system.

In other news expected at Monday's meeting:

*Board members are expected to set May 16 as the bid date for the 2012 Dover Greenmeadow Road Reconstruction Project. Funding for the project was approved in March.

*The board will consider amending its budget for the town clerk's office to reflect the receipt of a $61,677 grant from the New York State Archives to assist in records management.

The meeting will be preceded by a 5 p.m. work session.

Board members will receive a presentation by town historian James Pace about the historic Christian Metz home and the West Seneca Historical Society.

Also this week:

*The West Seneca Girl Scout Troop 30485 will host Niagara Feline Friends for an adoption event at Pet Supplies Plus, 3984 Seneca St., from 1-5 p.m. today. Rescue cats will be up for adoption at the event. The Girl Scout troop cadettes are working toward their Silver Award and are helping the no-kill cat shelter with the event.

*Earth Day 2012, an event by the Friends of the Burchfield Nature and Art Center and the West Seneca Environmental Commission, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday at the 2001 Union Road art center.

A "Shoreline Sweep" at the Burchfield Park which borders the Buffalo Creek in West Seneca will be conducted. Jack Oshei, Environmental Commission youth member, will also conduct a cleanup at Orchard Park and Ridge roads.

Volunteers are needed and are asked to bring a rake and work gloves. The event will be held rain or shine.

Register on the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper website or call Evelyn Hicks at 553-5077 for more information.

The event will include several other attractions, including a display by the town's sanitation crews regarding recycling and composting. Residents will also be able to "trade-in" their old recycling bins for new ones at the event; and

*The School Board will hold a 6:15 p.m. Tuesday meeting in the second-floor board room at West Elementary School, 1397 Orchard Park Road.

***

Village of Blasdell / By the numbers

Total population: 2,553

AGE:

Median: 38
Percent under 5: 5.4
Percent under 18: 21.8
Percent over 65: 14.1

***

Population by sex:

52.8% female

47.2% male

***

Population by race:

95.7% white

37% Hispanic

1.4% black

0.4% Asian

HOUSING:
Totalunits: 1,253
Percentage vacant: 7.1
Percentowner occupied: 55.8
Percent renter occupied: 44.2
HOUSEHOLDS:
Total: 1,164
Average size: 2.19
Percent with husband-wife: 32.5
Percent with husband-wife
andkidsunder18: 14.2
Percent with single fathers: 1.9
Percent with single mothers: 9.3