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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

> DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Information session set on power plant tax deal

LOCKPORT -- A special Legislature meeting has been called to receive a briefing on the property tax break the Industrial Development Agency gave the county's largest taxpayer, according to Niagara County Legislature Chairman William L. Ross, C-Wheatfield.

The session will be held at 6 p.m. next Thursday in the large training room in the development agency's offices at 6311 Inducon Corporate Drive (off Lockport Road, just east of Walmore Road) in Wheatfield.

Minority Leader Dennis F. Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, requested the session after Tuesday's Legislature meeting, where Somerset residents questioned the legality of the Oct. 27 payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal reached with AES Corp. for its power plant on Lake Road. Barring major spending cuts or state aid increases, the deal is certain to drive up Barker Central School District taxes and eventually will do the same for town and county taxes in Somerset.

Ross said no public comment will be permitted at the meeting.

"It's not a public hearing. It's an information review for the Legislature," he said. Agency Chairman Henry M. Sloma, other board members, agency staffers and legal counsel are expected to attend.

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> NIAGARA FALLS

Home judging to begin in decorating contest

NIAGARA FALLS -- Preliminary judging for the annual Niagara Beautification Commission holiday home decorating contest will be held Sunday and Monday.

To submit a nomination, leave the name and address of the nominee on the commission office phone line at 285-5030 or e-mail at niagara.beautification@verizon.net.

The city has been divided into five residential sections for judging, and homes will be evaluated on the creative use of lighting, animation and music, with final judging scheduled for Thursday.

Merrell Lane of the Lane Funeral Home is this year's contest chairman. Winners will be announced Dec. 16.

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