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An article in The News on Oct. 9 about the opening of a new firehouse at Elmwood Avenue and Virginia Street demonstrates the hypocrisy of theMasiello administration.

Mayor Masiello, who constantly cries poverty and claims that the city cannot afford to keep firehouses open, was perfectly willing to spend millions of taxpayer dollars on an unnecessary firehouse project.

The estimated cost of the new firehouse is $2.1 million -- 30 percent more than similar firehouses because the price tag includes buying the old Painters Union hall.

The News reported that the city paid $575,000 for the union hall, in what some city officials have privately called a political pay-back to the Building Trades Council, which includes the painters union and was the first major labor group to support Masiello.

Fire Commissioner Cornelius Keane claims that the new firehouse was a bargain and was necessary to mitigate the closure of four firehouses in 1994.

It would have been even more of a bargain had the city invested just a few hundred thousand to renovate the old firehouse at Jersey and Plymouth streets, which is a national historic site.

By reinvesting in the old firehouse, the property would have remained on the city's tax rolls.

As for Keane's other claim, it is plainly ridiculous to believe that relocating a firehouse can make up for the elimination of 10 percent of our Fire Department.

Joseph P. Fahey Buffalo

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