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The city should consider acquiring two South Block development tracts downtown to avoid higher costs in the future, officials of the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce told the Common Council Wednesday.

Gregory A. Pope, the Chamber's attorney, made the recommendation after reviewing details of a 1985 court settlement that gave city developer Elmer A. Granchelli assurance the city would cooperate in the development of the downtown block along the south side of Main Street.

Pope, Paul Perna, the Chamber president, and a number of other Chamber directors earlier had asked for an opportunity to comment on plans for the area.

Pope reminded aldermen that terms of the 1985 pact ended a multimillion dollar suit against the city by Granchelli and provided that the city must be ready to acquire the two properties now owned by Granchelli, raze structures there and make site improvements the city Urban Renewal Agency agreed to earlier.

The tract would then be turned back to the developer for construction of a 42,500-square-foot mall.

Pope said his review of the agreement indicates the city has a six-month option to buy for $75,000 if the developer has not started development after city obligations have been met.

"It would probably be in the interest of the city to acquire the property," Pope said.

His recommendation was referred to City Corporation Counsel Allen D. Miskell by Council President Alfred J. Cappola, D-7th Ward.

The Council also:

Tabled until the 8 p.m. July 11 a Cappola resolution asking Assemblyman Matthew J. Murphy, D-Lockport, to seek state legislation that would allow city residents to vote on budgets prepared by the Lockport School Board. Alderman Richard C. Corica, D-1st Ward, asked for the delay to hear views on an official of the Lockport Teachers Union who asked to appear before the Council on the issue.

Received a report from Mayor Thomas C. Rotondo that patrols by police juvenile officers have been revamped in an effort to control rowdyism in the Genesee-Locust streets section of the city where street fights have occurred in recent months.

Awarded a $137,774 low bid to the Park Lane Construction & Development Corp. of Clyde to design and build a storage building at the city garage for storage of street salt.

Was told by Rotondo that Charles D. Pierce, a real estate specialist from Windsor, Conn., has been informed that the city currently has no funds to acquire the 70-year-old Post Office building at Main and Elm streets, which will be vacated when a new post office is completed. Rotondo said he asked that the city be kept informed of the status of the building. The Postal Service will advertise the structure, now on the list of national historic places, for sale June 25.

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