A consultant whose goal is to get an industrial park built, "not present some grandiose master plan," was hired by the West Seneca Town Board Monday night.
James R. Militello, former Buffalo commissioner of community development, was given a six-month contract at a fee of $5,000 a month.
The vote was unanimous but Supervisor Joan F. Lillis and Councilman Michael J. Graber, who usually constitute a minority on the all-Democratic board, complained of being shut out of the interviewing process.
"I think he's an excellent choice who came through the interviewing process that I somehow missed," Graber said.
Councilman Robert J. Jarnot said Mrs. Lillis' recent illness made it difficult to get all the board members together.
"I was sick, but Mike (Graber) wasn't," Mrs. Lillis responded. She added, however, that Militello had received a good recommendation from Buffalo's Mayor Griffin.
Militello said he will look at the Commerce Parkway Industrial Park, which is privately owned, as one possible site, but will also look at other available land.
"I want to benefit the taxpayers and I want their participation at all levels," Militello said. "This is an exciting time for Western New York" with the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement resulting in companies "coming over the border and looking for land," he said.
It's important for the town to take a competitive position to find locations for the companies "because it is a competitive climate," Militello said.
He said his first task is to review what has been done to date and "come back with two very good sites."
He said he will make monthly reports to the board on his progress and work closely with the Seneca Creek Homeowners Association, which has been pushing for development of the Commerce Parkway property.
On another matter during the 3 1/2 -hour meeting, residents of Hi View Terrace, site of a large-scale cleanup of hazardous waste by the federal Environmental Protection Agency recently, wanted to know when the town will finish its part of the project.
Prices for construction of a head wall to hold a storm-sewer pipe draining into Cazenovia Creek came in higher than expected so the project will have to be bid, Town Engineer George Montz said. Bids will be opened at 10 a.m. June 12 with the board scheduled to act on them at its meeting that night.
The board also:
Heard complaints from residents about material being dumped in a Berg Road landfill and asked for an explanation of just what is permitted in a landfill. It also instructed the building department to notify the police if illegal dumping is taking place.
After a series of six public hearings on requests for zoning changes, approved one, denied four and left one hearing open until June 12.
Approved was a special permit to allow James Busshart to construct a "Mr. Oil Change" business at 2421 Clinton St.
Denied were changes sought by Rudolf and Angela Mack to build a four-family dwelling on Orchard Park Road, Transmissions Inc. to build a facility for rental and storage of moving vans and trailers at 2338 Union Road, Nancy Pawelek to build a duplex at 2260 Berg Road and Mark Subjack for a wholesale and retail car facility at 330 Lein Road. Subjack withdrew his request prior to the hearing, but the board proceeded and acted anyway.
Left open until its next meeting was a hearing on Penn Advertising's request to rebuild two signs at 133 Center Road. The work has already been done because the company did not realize it needed a zoning change, a company spokesman said.
However, a resident complained about a drainage problem resulting from the work and questioned whether the new signs would be lighted so the matter was left open until the concerns could be resolved.