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The Dunkirk Housing Authority's board of commissioners Monday authorized Executive Director Raymond Leahy to request architectural proposals for repairing several buildings on Smith Court that have sustained water damage.

Leahy told the board that emergency repairs already had been made to 219, 221 and 223 Smith Court, all two-bedroom duplexes. Cope Builders of Dunkirk was hired to do the work, which cost $13,854.

The emergency repairs included removing some of the siding, installing aluminum flashing and waterproof paper to protect the particle board and insulation.

The emergency repair work and the architect's fees will be paid from the reserve account in the authority's operating budget.

Smith Court consists of 12 buildings of which eight have two-bedroom duplexes. Other buildings there have been inspected by an engineer from the Buffalo office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and City Building Inspector George Corsoro, and both recommended repairs.

Because the job will cost more than $5,000, the board needs to go through the standard procedure of requesting architectural proposals, selecting an architect, having specifications written, going to bid, awarding the contracts and having the construction done.

The duplexes were part of the 60 units constructed in 1986 as part of an out-of-court settlement of a housing discrimination suit brought in 1980 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others.

The project had two architects, William McGraw of Fredonia, who was discharged by the authority, and the late Frances Stieglitz of Buffalo.

Board member Leon Schrantz questioned the architectural plans showing the vertical installation of vinyl siding on the two-bedroom duplexes. The buildings were subsequently accepted by the board over Schrantz's opposition and that of HUD.

Another duplex on King Street that has the same architectural plan has shown some signs of deterioration, Leahy said.

Leahy also reported that HUD officials recommended that the exterior of the buildings be redone in about 10 years, possibly with another siding material.

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