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Helipad raises residents' concerns

Several Evans residents raising concerns about a helipad under construction in the town were told by town officials Wednesday to contact the Erie County Legislature for further information on the project.

During a meeting of the Town Board, officials also discussed who has jurisdiction over flights into and out of the small private airport.

Supervisor Robert Catalino said he has scheduled a meeting with Legislator Bob Reynolds, D-Hamburg, next Thursday to discuss the impact of the helipad, and said he would have more information at the Jan. 3 board meeting. The helipad will be used by the Erie County Sheriff's Office.

Councilwoman Karen Erickson said FAA officials told a town resident it has jurisdiction over the air traffic at the airport. The Town of Evans has no control over who can fly in and out of the airport.

Though the property is a private airport, the town is looking into implications of the facility's upgrades.

In other business:

*The Town of Evans is about to begin advertising a Rural/Metro Medical Services program called SPIRIT, which is designed to ease medical transportation costs for residents.

For a charge of $25 for an individual or $35 for a family, the service will cover the deductible for any ambulance rides over the course of a year. The program is available to residents of Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties.

"This is a great program, especially for the elderly or anyone with health problems that might need several rides over the course of a year," Erickson said.

*Gifford M. Swyers attended his last meeting as a councilman after seven years of service. The board commended him for his hard work through the years. He will be replaced by Paul Cooper.

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