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Higgins urges NFTA to act on outer harbor property

Rep. Brian Higgins on Monday personally encouraged the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to follow through on plans to transfer its 400-acre outer harbor waterfront property to another state agency.

The congressman, who has assumed a lead role in waterfront development efforts, appeared before the NFTA board to urge transfer of the land to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., which is already guiding development of inner harbor property. He said the agency stands ready to pledge $11 million for repair of the breakwater and dredging at the Small Boat Harbor. He vowed to take "personal responsibility to make sure this gets done and to make sure these properties remain in the public domain."

He also announced the state Department of Environmental Conservation will initiate a study in September -- when water conditions are roughest -- to determine the feasibility of installing a sand swimming area at Gallagher Beach.


Officials are discussing air quality issues

Officials from the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are having informal talks about air quality issues, bridge officials said in a news release Monday.

Authority Chairman Sam Hoyt recently sent a letter to the EPA outlining past environmental efforts and the potential for future ones.

"As discussed, the authority agrees that more can be done to maximize positive environmental stewardship at our port," Hoyt wrote in a May 15 letter to Judith A. Enck, the EPA's regional administrator. "However, many important air quality improvements have indeed been made at the Peace Bridge over the last decade due to a series of renovations and facility enhancements."


New exhibit traces history of Coast Guard vessels

A new exhibit representing more than two centuries of U.S. Coast Guard vessels goes on display at 11 a.m. today in Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park.

Models of 41 vessels, representing ship types from 1790 to the present, were donated to the Foundation for Coast Guard History by collector and model builder Dick Petri of Lake View. Petri started his collection in 1972 by building models of the seven ships he served on during his career in the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard models join two other recently opened exhibits -- a World War II display that includes notes left by visitors telling their memories of those who served in the war, and a display of eight models of various types of naval destroyers. The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Oct. 31.


Police Department receives grant for DWI enforcement

The North Collins Village Police Department has received a grant for enforcement efforts against drunken drivers through the Erie County Stop DWI Office.

The grant will allow for extra staffing and equipment.