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BOARD INCREASES BUDGET BY $41,250, MOSTLY FOR FIRE PROTECTION

The Town Board has amended this year's budget, increasing it by $41,250.

By a 4-1 vote this week, the board increased the budget to $10.08 million.

Only Councilman D. James Langlois, who had voted against the budget Nov. 15, opposed the change.

The budget is $85,889 higher than last year's spending plan.

Interim Budget Director Frank Loncto said three changes were made in the current budget: $10,000 for each of the town's four fire companies for fire protection, $1,000 more in personal services for Lewiston Senior Citizens and $250 more to the Niagara River Water Improvement District.

The special district rates for taxpayers remain unchanged, he said.

Town residents pay no taxes for general services, which are financed through fees from waste-disposal companies operating landfills in the town.

Only former Councilwoman Paulette Glasgow commented during a public hearing, saying she approved of what the Town Board did in paying homeowners' fire protection.

"My taxes decreased roughly $400 from a couple of years ago," Glasgow said.

Previous boards had used some unspent money to offset Lewiston's share of county taxes.

This year, however, those funds will go to the fire districts.

In a separate vote, the board voted 5-0 to increase payments to the town's four fire companies by $10,000 each in each of the next four years.

Under the four-year agreement, the town will pay Lewiston No. 1, Lewiston No. 2, Sanborn and Upper Mountain fire companies $125,000 each this year, $135,000 next year, $145,000 in 2002 and $155,000 in 2003.

The board also agreed to pay for additional training for members to respond to hazardous material incidents before any fire company is called out. That training will enable them to assess the incident adequately.

After Langlois questioned why each department was getting the same amount of money, presidents of the companies addressed the Town Board, explaining how much training their members need and that Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that equipment be maintained more much carefully than in previous years.

The board voted 5-0 after a brief executive session to create the position of deputy highway superintendent. Because current Highway Superintendent Milo E. Quarantillo did not win the election, he was to lose his job, with only about seven months remaining until he can retire.

Quarantillo will be paid $35,000 in salary for one year.

The position was created, according to the board's resolution, to help incoming Highway Superintendent Steven L. Reiter through a transition period.

Supervisor-elect Sandra J. Maslen said she will appoint Edward E. Evert as her budget director and Daniel F. Kilmer as her deputy superintendent.

Evert will be paid $31,500; Kilmer, who lost election to a council seat, will receive $1,442.

The board voted 4-0, with an abstention by outgoing Supervisor Richard F. Demus, to hold a board reorganizational meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Town Hall, 1375 Ridge Road.

A ceremony to swear in the town's newly elected officials will be held at noon today in the Lewiston Senior Citizens Center, 4361 Lower River Road.

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