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Lone block club becoming two

The city's only block club is splitting in two, leaders said Thursday, one day after a City Hall meeting aimed at organizing more block clubs fell flat.

Alderman Thomas F. Grzebinski II, R-1st Ward, said a Washington-Allen Street block club is spinning off from North End Neighborhood Watch.

The area is in Grzebinski's ward, but he said the corner of Washington and Allen seems to be the focus of trouble in the neighborhood.

Dan Wilson, former president of North End Neighborhood Watch, said he's calling a meeting in January to organize the new club and said he is the "front-runner" to be its president.

Wilson left the North End presidency in June.

David Licata, the current North End president, said his club will continue. "We'll be the doughnut, and they'll be the hole," he said of the new group.

Wilson said, "Our area here on Washington and Allen, we're struggling. Our leadership in North End Neighborhood Watch, they're not cutting it."

Wilson said he wants a more hands-on style of attack against teenage loiterers and drug activity.

Wilson said, "I have nothing against Dave Licata. He's a great guy, and he was put in a tough position when I walked away from the leadership in June. His approach is more laid back."

Licata wasn't laid back when asked why there aren't more block clubs in Lockport.

"It's the worst case of 'let George do it' I've ever seen," he said.

About 15 people attended a meeting called by the Common Council on Wednesday night to discuss neighborhood issues, but the majority already were affiliated with Licata's club.

Council President John Lombardi III termed the event "a little disappointing" and said he would try to set up another one in February.

Mayor Michael W. Tucker said: "People are busy doing their own thing. It's a big commitment. People don't want to make the commitment . . . We hope to find one or two people and have it balloon into something bigger."

Licata said, "You don't have to be a vigilante. You don't have to let the guy know you blew him in. Just keep track of things. If you suspect drug dealers, if you see 27 cars outside a house, get the license numbers and give them to the police."

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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