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Four-page information profiles for each of Niagara County's 20 municipalities were released Monday at a news conference in the Courthouse.

"These will be part of our business promotion efforts," said Planning, Development and Tourism Commissioner Samuel M. Ferraro.

Commented Legislator Robert R. Villani, R-Town of Niagara, "The community profiles will also assist our municipalities with the information they need to promote their respective communities to business development prospects that are the best fit for each individual community."

The first page of each profile is a full-page scenic photo, with the community's name and usually a slogan. For example, Niagara Falls proclaims itself "QUEEN of Beauty . . . KING of Power."

The back page lists contact numbers of officeholders and features a map of Niagara County with the individual municipality highlighted.

Inside are more photos and quick information items on community history, employment, educational resources, recreational facilities, population, housing costs, public safety and health care.

The project cost $4,000, which was covered by a grant the county received last year from the New York Planning Federation.

Town of Lockport Supervisor J.O. Thompson said, "I have to admit when Sam (Ferraro) came to the supervisors and asked us to cooperate with him, I wasn't very enthusiastic because I didn't think you could do much with $4,000."

But Thompson and other local leaders praised the result.

City of Lockport Mayor Thomas C. Sullivan said, "They did a wonderful job on this."

Said County Legislature Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster, R-Ransomville, "That sure is a big stretch for $4,000."

City and town historians provided many of the photographs and other information used in the profiles, Ferraro said.

The layouts were done in the county planning office by graphic technician Mary Sharon Murphy.

The brochures are color-coded. The main color for the city brochures is blue; the towns are in green; and the villages are in brown.

The 12 towns, five villages and three cities were given 500 copies each, while the county kept 250 copies of each brochure for its use.

"That should be at least a two-year supply," Ferraro said. By then, information from the 2000 U.S. Census should begin to be available, and the profiles can be updated.

"If our timing is right, we'll be able to incorporate our new information," Ferraro said.

Two years ago, his department produced a similar, although more detailed, publication for the county as a whole, called "Market Facts." Ferraro said a new edition of that packet should be available later this year.

"We want to put out publications on a two-year schedule," he said.

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