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N. TONAWANDA TARGETS PROPERTY SCOFFLAWS; FEES, FINES BOOSTED FOR VIOLATORS OF WEED ORDINANCE

North Tonawanda is getting a little shaggy-looking, residents are complaining to city aldermen.

Some owners are neglecting their properties, allowing grass and weeds to grow to a height of more than 12 inches in violation of the city's weed ordinance, Assistant City Attorney Robert Sondel said.

At the direction of the Common Council Tuesday, Sondel will draft an ordinance amendment to raise inspection fees for the second complaint of overgrown property to $100 from $50, and also to increase court fines for scofflaws from a maximum of $50 to $250.

Errant property owners also are assessed the city's cost to have a contractor cut the grass or weeds down to size.

Mayor Elizabeth C. Hoffman announced that an aerial inspection of the city will be made Friday with an eye to possibly chemically spraying mosquito-plagued sections, including Doebler Drive where residents have complained of an infestation of the bugs that bite them and their children.

Council President Thomas M. Jaccarino expressed doubts that residents will accept aerial spraying.

"Most people don't want their lawns sprayed, let alone spraying chemicals by airplane," he said.

Two management consultants, William Holcomb and Norman J. Stocker, presented separate proposals to the Council Tuesday to take over city labor negotiations.

A negotiator would handle contract negotiations and grievances from four unions that represent city employees, including police and firefighters.

Those chores now fall to the city attorney's office. City Attorney Jeffrey N. Mis said that the work occupies a good deal of his time, but that he did not ask to be relieved of it.

Jaccarino said the Council will consider the proposals of the outside consultants.

The Council also heard a proposal from Kristiina H. Gibson of the Alcoholism Council in Niagara County Inc., to provide an employee assistance program for city workers who have personal problems, perhaps affecting their job performance.

The program counseling service includes, but is not limited to alcoholism, she said. The Common Council requested more information.

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