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BOARD OKS BOND RESOLUTIONS FOR REPAIR PROJECTS

Almost $5 million in borrowing was approved Monday night by the Cheektowaga Town Board, with repairs of streets, sidewalks and the police-court building included in plans officials have for the money.

The largest of six bond resolutions -- for $2 million -- will pay for rebuilding and resurfacing a long list of streets, while replacing the leaky roof at the police-court building is part of a $1.5 million measure for reconstruction and improvements at several town buildings.

Included in a $600,000 bond resolution for plans and specifications for future capital projects is money for a space/feasibility study for construction of a new police-court building, officials said. If approved, the new building could open in 2004, according to Town Supervisor Dennis H. Gabryszak.

The 33-year-old police-court building in the Union Road-Broadway municipal complex houses almost five times as many employees as originally intended.

In addition to a roof that has leaked several times in recent years and the lack of space, police say, the structure has air-circulation and plumbing problems, as well as inadequate facilities for female officers.

The board also adopted bond measures for drainage improvements, $300,000; sidewalk repairs, $200,000; and demolition of the old incinerator building in the municipal complex, $350,000. The money for sidewalks will replenish funding for a program in which the town and property owners split the cost of fixing sidewalks.

Bellevue environmental activist Donna Hosmer questioned why the town continues to buy stone and asphalt from Buffalo Crushed Stone when the company is suing the town for the right to expand its Como Park Boulevard quarry operation east of Indian Road.

The Cheektowaga Citizens Coalition, which Hosmer heads, believes that dust and fumes from the quarry are part of the reason for seemingly high rates of respiratory, cancer, autoimmune and other illness in the Bellevue area.

Buffalo Crushed Stone filed suit in 1998 for permission to mine land east of Indian Road.

The company now operates two large quarries west of Indian, almost to Union Road.

Town Engineer William R. Pugh told Hosmer that the town buys stone and related products at the Como Park Boulevard quarry because Buffalo Crushed Stone was the low bidder on a county bid list and because getting stone for construction projects elsewhere would take trucks up to an hour longer for each trip.

Hosmer said the coalition disagrees with the Depew/Cheektowaga Taxpayers Association that moving the quarry entrance to Broadway would help make the company a better neighbor.

Hosmer and others said a problem with truck traffic would only be foisted on another neighborhood, while alleged health hazards from airborne dust and the daily nuisance of blasting would continue over a wide area.

Nothing short of closing down the quarry would solve the problem, Hosmer said, but town officials said that only the state could do it.

Comprehensive health evaluations, as well as testing of three landfills near the quarry, are also the state's responsibility, board members said.

"The kind of pressure you've been putting on this board for months should be put on state officials," said Council Member William P. Rogowski.

In other business, the Town Board extended for six months a building moratorium along a 1 1/2 -mile stretch of Harlem Road, between the Amherst town line and Genesee Street, to allow more time for community revitalization planning. A three-month moratorium approved in March expires this month.

The building ban affects all new developments, expansions or remodeling, unless the board thinks that the project is in harmony with a community group's planning concepts.

"We're pretty close to putting our plan together," Shelly Schratz, president of the Harlem-Kensington-Cleveland Business Association, told the board.

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