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The Tonawanda City Council Tuesday awarded a $10,000 contract to Architecture Unlimited of North Tonawanda to redesign the entrance to the police station in City Hall.

The price, which includes design but not construction of a new entrance to comply with handicapped-accessibility laws, was met by criticism from residents. School Board member Charles Heylmun said the price seemed like a lot of money for just the design of the new entrance.

City Administrative Assistant Donald Witkowski explained that the city Engineering Department will help to decrease some of the expenses but that the redesign work was beyond the staff's expertise. Witkowski said the redesign would include expanding the current entrance toward the street, making the planning more complex.

Council President Carleton Zeisz said the city would have no estimates on construction costs until the design is completed. According to Witkowski, $50,000 is allocated in the city's budget for the entire project.

Clarence schools seek budget input

The Clarence Central School Board is offering the public opportunities to comment on the development of next year's district budget.

Trustees have scheduled budget input sessions at 6:45 p.m. Monday in the high school lecture hall and at 6:45 p.m. March 12 in Ledgeview Elementary School. The 15-minute sessions will precede the 7 p.m. regular meetings. Clarence's 2001-02 spending plan will be in development over the next two months. Budget adoption is set for the April 23 meeting, with the budget hearing on May 7. District residents vote on the plan May 15.

ATV donated to Akron village police

The Akron Village Board this week accepted a donation to the village's Police Department.

Rick Lauricella, the village's manager of police operations, said the 1989 all-terrain vehicle will be used during special events and to patrol the bike path as well as to assist the Akron Fire Company.

State police recovered the ATV, which was stolen, Lauricella said. "When the insurance company paid off the owner, they decided to donate it to the Police Department," he said.

In another matter, Lauricella reported that a vehicle stolen from a home on Shepard Avenue, recovered recently on Ledge Road on the Tonawanda Indian Reservation, is the same type of vehicle as other cars stolen from the village and surrounding towns over the past few months.

"It has been a problem," he said. "But we're working closely with other agencies, including State Police and the Erie, Genesee and Niagara County Sheriff's Department to put an end to this."

Lauricella, who reviewed a monthly police report with the board, said the department has issued 42 summonses and responded to 231 complaints this year. "The Winterfest held in Akron Falls Park last month went very well," he said, "with no major incidents."

Canisius sets forums on Constitution

Canisius College, where the student Constitutional Reform Commission is working on revising the New York State Constitution, is holding a new series of free forums on the constitution beginning at 8 p.m. today in Room 229 of Lyons Hall on the west side of Main Street.

George Palumbo, a professor of economics at Canisius, will discuss "Constitutional Issues in State and Local Finance."

When he and his students have rewritten the entire State Constitution, they hope to present their revision to the State Legislature.

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