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The Village of Lancaster's tree population is thinning and in a compromised state. More than 60 percent of the village's trees were damaged in the October 2006 surprise ice storm. More than 10 years later, that storm left many trees unable to grow properly, according to village officials. "We've had to trim and take down so many trees because the ice took so many le…

A standing-room-only crowd of about 100 people rocked Depew Village Hall Monday night with their passion to save their 124-year-old village from dissolving when it faces a community vote next Tuesday. Twenty-one taxpayers spoke before the Village Board, and the overwhelming theme was determination and anger to preserve the government overseeing the village of 15,000 peo…

Lancaster's village economic development agency unexpectedly found itself Wednesday re-examining its purpose while in the midst of trying to sell a nearly 5-acre chunk of West Main Street eyed for reviving the downtown business district. Before negotiations on the sale can proceed, the Lancaster Community Development Corp. board needs more details from Revitalize Lancas…

With the new year comes pay raises for about 105 Lancaster government part-time and full-time non-unionized workers that closely align with the 2 percent raises that some other unionized town employees were granted last fall. The Town Board Tuesday adopted a standard salary schedule for a smattering of part-time and some full-time staff. Supervisor Johanna M. Coleman…

Anyone who has spent time watching Lancaster town government at work, has no doubt sat in the 12 wooden church pews that were a fixture in Town Hall for more than three decades. And even though those pews from St. Mary of the Assumption Church were removed from the meeting room three years ago when the town instead opted for black vinyl-covered chairs at the time the ro…

It may take a village to raise a child, but what does it take to put down a village? Voters rejected efforts to dissolve village governments in 60 percent of the 47 villages in New York State where referendums have been held during the past eight years. If that history is indicative, the village of Depew is more likely to survive than not when its 15,000 residents go…

NIAGARA FALLS – Niagara County Sheriff's deputies are looking for a suspect in the robbery about 6:30 p.m. Friday of People's Casino pawn shop on Military Road, where the owner was sprayed in the face with mace. Deputies described the robber as a black male, 6 feet, 2 inches tall, wearing a dark-colored hoodie, gray sweatpants, white and red knit cap and a light-color…

A picnic in the park may cost more next year in Lancaster. So will kids' swim lessons and some sports camps for youths. The fee for holding a gathering at a Keysa Town Park shelter will double to $50. Renting Westwood Park's pavilion will increase by $25 to $100. And the cost of using large shelters at Westwood and Walden Pond parks will double to $50, while the cost of…

In the Lancaster High School cafeteria kitchen, students baked far more than a baker's dozen of Christmas cookies Thursday. In 2 1/2 hours, 15 students and two supervisors made 4,223 cookies for needy families during the first day of a three-day baking marathon. [Gallery: Lancaster High School Cookie Baking Marathon] Their goal is to bake 6,000 cookies in all. …

A big drop in its tax bill helped Ecology & Environment increase its first-quarter profits by 34 percent despite an 11 percent drop in revenue and a 46 percent decline in pre-tax earnings. The Lancaster-based environmental services firm said Thursday its profits rose to $888,000, or 21 cents per share, from $664,000, or 15 cents per share, a year ago, mainly because…

The political winds already are blowing through the Village of Lancaster, three months before the next village election. Paul Maute will not seek re-election for a second term as mayor in the March 21 election. Instead, the Citizens' Party is backing three-term Trustee William C. Schroeder for mayor, an office with a four-year term that pays $12,900 a year. Maute …

The village of Lancaster's Community Development Corp. met Wednesday but did not award a contract to a group of investors who submitted the only proposal for development of nearly five acres of property on West Main Street. Details about the proposal by Revitalize Lancaster, a group with ties to the CDC's former longtime legal counsel Mark S. Aquino, were not publicly d…

The Village of Lancaster's economic development arm is refusing to publicly release a copy of the only proposal submitted for the purchase of a nearly 5-acre parcel on West Main Street that the village hopes will jump-start the revival of its downtown business district. In a one-paragraph explanation, Village Clerk Michael E. Stegmeier denied a Freedom of Information re…

An investment group led by the Lancaster Community Development Corp.'s former longtime legal counsel and property manager submitted the only bid to redevelop a chunk of Lancaster's West Main Street business district that the LCDC owns. The group led by attorney Mark S. Aquino submitted the only proposal by the LCDC's Nov. 21 deadline, but Aquino and agency officials dec…