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BOARD APPROVES EXTENSION OF NATURAL GAS CONTRACT

With its natural gas contract to expire Dec. 31, the Village Board Monday voted to extend the current pact for two more years.

Currently, National Fuel Resources Inc. of Williamsville provides the fuel to all village-owned properties. Under the new contract, the village will receive its supply for $7.83 per cubic foot.

The village also is seeking $2 million through the state Department of Health to upgrade its water distribution system.

Mayor Timothy Heavern said the village has been cited by the Chautauqua County Health Department for substandard water pressure in seven areas.

"We've been ordered to fix them," the mayor said. "The Health Department has been very cooperative with us. They understand the financial situation we are in and they have expressed their concerns and their willingness to work with us."

The total upgrade cost is pegged at $3.5 million. Village officials hope to obtain the balance of the cost through low-interest loans.

The Village Board had hoped to revamp the entire system at a cost of $9 million.

But, Heavern noted, the project cost would have imposed "an extreme hardship on families who are on fixed incomes."

The village also renewed its fire-protection contract with the Town of Hanover for three years. The new contract imposes 5 percent increases per year. The village will receive $28,565 in 2000, $29,993 in 2001 and $31,493 in 2003.

In other business, the board:

Approved a $350 software purchase for the village's volunteer firefighters. "With the fire department updating its software, it will be the final link in our Y2K plan," Heavern said.

Announced village offices will be closed Thursday and Friday to observe Christmas and will be closed Dec. 30 and 31 for the New Year's holiday.

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