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Niagara County to renew deal with lobbying firm

LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Legislature’s Administration and Community Safety and Security committees this week approved a renewed homeland security lobbying contract with the firm of Masiello, Martucci, Calabrese and Associates.

The firm will be used to lobby on behalf of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the Niagara Military Affairs Council, but also will try to regain federal homeland security grant funding for the county Emergency Management Department, director Jonathan F. Schultz said.

No one else bid on the contract. The firm, led in part by former Buffalo Mayor Anthony M. Masiello and former Deputy Erie County Executive Carl J. Calabrese, who now lives in Wheatfield, was first hired by the county in 2011. It will continue to charge the county $60,000, as it has since it was first hired. The new contract is for one year with two annual renewal options.

Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, was the only committee member to vote no.