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Williamsville officials have admitted that they may have been wrong -- or at least hasty -- in laying off one laborer in the village's Department of Public Works last month.

So, they've decided, the worker can return -- for the time being.

The male worker, laborer class, was the only one of the 13-member department laid off due to the Oct. 1 switch made by the village to a private trash pickup firm from the previous method of in-house garbage collection services. The other members of the department are classified as motor equipment operators.

"We shouldn't have done that (the single layoff) last month," said Mayor Basil Piazza. "It was a negotiable position."

The Village Board is now talking with the local of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees which represents the department's employees, now down to 12 workers due to a retirement, Piazza said.

Piazza said there probably would be a downsizing of the department at some point after the negotiations were finished.

The department's workers, freed from weekly garbage collecting, are now doing leaf pickups, road patching and cleaning, and sewer work, Piazza said.

He called the transition to Modern Disposal Corp. "very smooth" and said that the Village Board is happy with the decision to get out of the trash business.

"It's going very well," Piazza said.

In other business, the Village Board:

Approved the sale of a used fire truck for $57,500, which will be used to partially fund the purchase of a new truck at a cost of $269,915.

Approved an application to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for $628,536 in funding for water quality improvement projects throughout the village, including work planned for parts of Mill Street, Los Robles Street, Hirschfield Drive, North Cayuga Drive, and Chalmers Street.

Also to be funded, if the application is approved, will be the installation of four flow monitors and the installation of a pumping station at Island Park. The Village Board has pledged $110,918 in matching funds to the planned projects.

Set a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at in the Village Hall, to hear public input on the village's use of approximately $54,950 in anticipated 1998 Community Development Block Grant funds.

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