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PANEL APPROVES FUNDING FOR FALLS AIR STATION

Funding for construction of a new Western New York military intake center at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and design of the base's new fire station is included in a defense spending bill that has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton announced Friday.

The 2005 Defense Department appropriations bill that is headed for the Senate floor includes $6.2 million to construct the new Military Entrance Procession Station and $702,000 for planning and design of a new fire and crash station.

Merrell Lane of Niagara Falls, chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, said the intake center will be the first stop for all Western New Yorkers who join any branch of the armed forces, replacing an induction office in Buffalo's Federal Building.

The fire station will replace an existing one that Lane said is too small. He said money to actually build it will likely be sought next year.

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