Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has created a financial "Pandora's box" with a plan to require counties to devise ways to share government services as a way to cut expenses, Orchard Park town leaders said Wednesday night. "Similar to the tax cap and tax freeze, the impending danger is hidden by the promise of relief from our oppressive property taxes," said Councilman Michael Sher…

Southtowners sneer at snowfall, embrace lake-effect blasts with bravado, and trade winter war stories with pride. But when the word comes down that the Skyway and Route 5 are closed - again - at commuting time, even the hardiest road warrior with four-wheel drive starts dreaming of a winter hideaway in the Northtowns, where for the most part, a dusting of snow can be bl…

Water poured into the Hamburg town fitness center on Route 5, down the stairs and out the back door down to Lake Erie late last month after a water main break at the Town Park. "Just to fix the main line was $6,413," Highway Superintendent Tom Best Sr. told the Town Board on Monday night. It will cost another $12,900 to fix the sidewalk, he said. The break was discov…

When heavy winds whip up Lake Erie, waves often crash over Route 5 across from St. Francis High School in the Town of Hamburg, sometimes bringing driftwood and debris with it. And depending on the  temperature, the water freezes on the road, forcing that section of the road to close. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a plan to install stone along the shore in t…

Walking along Legion Drive in front of Hamburg Central High School's Howe Field should get easier with the installation of sidewalks this year. Construction is to start next month on the sidewalks as the first step in the Healthy Neighborhoods initiative, Village Administrator Don Witkowski said. Village Board members on Monday awarded a $612,604 contract to Scott La…

Firefighters responded to a three-alarm blaze at Southtowns Fireplace on Camp Road in Hamburg early Thursday. No injuries were reported. The fire at 4307 Camp Road was reported shortly after 5 a.m. The origin of the fire was undetermined as of late Thursday. "There was so much damage, and because of the roof collapse, it was unsafe to do a thorough investigati…

It will be an active campaign season this  year in Hamburg, with the upsizing of the Town Board starting in 2018. Since the board will move from three members to five, there will be two new seats open on it, bringing the number of town offices up for election to six this year. Both major party leaders said they are accepting inquiries from those interested in being …

There's been a demand from emergency responders for more training sessions in confined space manure pit safety and rescue, and the Western New York Farm Show is coming through. The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine & Health has added additional sessions to its training programs, which are open to the public and geared toward farmers, Farm Bureau members, loc…

Overheard at the Western New York Farm Show as a farmer was looking at shiny new tractors: "Looking to buy?" "No, I'm a bottom feeder. The stuff that's here for sale, I'll be able to buy in 20 years." [PHOTOS from the WNY Farm Show] But it is fun to look at the red, green and blue equipment, some with wheels as tall or taller than a farmer. This is the seventh …

State engineers are planning a continuous two-way turning lane along a stretch of Southwestern Boulevard (Route 20) in Hamburg that has seen more than its share of nasty accidents. Whether the road will be reconfigured to three or five lanes between Amsdell and Lakeview roads has not been determined. Residents living in the area said they were concerned about the saf…

Taxes in the Hamburg Central School District could go down slightly for the second year in a row. It's all about the tax cap. The district's tax cap is less than zero, like last year. If the tax levy is above the tax cap, 60 percent of voters must vote in favor of the budget in May, which many districts have discovered is a difficult lift. But if it is within the cap…

As Hamburg prepares to announce the site for a proposed public-private ice rink complex, a private group is charging ahead with its plans for a similar facility in the town that it says won't cost taxpayers a dime. The Town of Hamburg is working with Sportstar of Toronto to develop a sportsplex with two ice rinks, a field house and other amenities. It is widely believed…

Residents are a little closer to relief from the frequent blowing of train whistles at three railroad crossings in Hamburg. The town is planning to install "quiet zones" at the CSX and Norfolk Southern railroad crossings on Pleasant Avenue and Lakeview and Bayview roads, and has committed to put $300,000 in town funds toward the design and construction of the crossings.…