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Architectural restoration effort is taking shape in business district

Restoring some of the past glories of the Village of Hamburg's business district has been one of the goals of Trustee Laura P. Hackathorn since she was elected less than two years ago.

The effort is starting to show some results, as the Village Board on Tuesday night adopted new building-design standards aimed at restoring some of the district's architectural character.

"Laura deserves all the credit," Trustee Daniel S. O'Connell said after the meeting. "She's worked on this for 18 months."

Part of the redevelopment plan has been to restore the Bank of America building to the way it looked before the facade of white panels was applied years ago when it was a Liberty National Bank branch.

Hackathorn said that she met with the property manager for Bank of America recently and that he was receptive to the idea.

On another matter, Verizon officials said the company is about to spend more than $12 million in Hamburg to make it and Orchard Park the first communities in Western New York to be strung with fiber-optic cable for fast Internet connections and, eventually, television service.

Preliminary work has begun, and there should be little disruption, as the new cables will be the same as the current ones -- either strung on poles or, in the case of some suburbs, in-ground using existing conduits.

Verizon's current DSL Internet service will become obsolete, construction manager Larry Cobado said during a briefing for village officials.

It is expected to be 2007 before Verizon is competing with Adelphia for television subscribers.

The board also presented a certificate of appreciation to Douglas Smith for his work on the Recreation Commission for the last four years. He had to resign because of a change in his work schedule.

Trustee Thomas P. Tallman was absent.


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