Share this article

print logo

Judge dismisses suit against Elma brought by former tax receiver

Elma Supervisor Michael Nolan told Town Board members Wednesday that State Supreme Court Justice Diane Devlin dismissed a court action against the town brought by former Elma Tax Receiver Frank Kester.

Kester had maintained that the town acted prematurely by changing the locks on his office the day after the Nov. 7 election, when voters in a referendum approved combining the Tax Department and town clerk's office. Kester also wanted to be paid through Dec. 31, 2007, the end of his elected term.

The town agreed to pay Kester for four weeks, through Dec. 8, when the Board of Elections certified the voting results. Nolan also said that a lock-box system with J.P. Morgan-Chase to collect taxes, bypassing Kester, will be canceled and the town clerk will accept all checks in Town Hall.

In other matters, officials discussed a proposal to build a 14,673-square-foot Rite Aid drugstore at Bowen and Bullis roads.

Tom Reid, chairman of the Planning Board, said planners have "large concerns" about the impact on businesses on Bowen. A business the size of Rite Aid could adversely impact the town's rural nature, he said.

Nolan noted the site is zoned properly and no variances are needed. He added that an environmental study must be completed before the board can issue a preliminary business use permit.

Trudy Weber, a Bowen Road senior citizen, said she was surprised by the reaction to the proposal because she has heard nothing but positive reactions during senior center outings.

"Some people are against everything," she said. "They are stuck on stupid around here."

Marlene Baumgartner, president of the Historical Society, said the house that Rite Aid would demolish on the site is one of the oldest in the community and may be historically significant.

Gerry Robbins, a pharmacist and owner of Cy's Pharmacy in the Elma Plaza for 36 years, told the board Cy's plans to close and he has an agreement with Rite Aid that includes hiring 37 employees of Cy's -- some with more than 30 years on the job.

Rite Aid will continue to employ them for at least a year with the same benefits, said Robbins, adding, "Rite Aid dealt with me with honor and I feel they will be a good fit for the town. I applaud their efforts."

David Liskiewicz, owner of the newly expanded Elma Deli in the plaza, said he believes Rite Aid will adversely impact his business. He said Rite Aid is "not just a pharmacy, but a food store and a lot more."

The board directed Rite Aid attorney Ralph Lorigo to contact the town's code enforcement officer to begin the environmental review process.

In other matters, the board approved passing on the water rate increase of 4.25 percent from the Erie County Water Authority to residents.

There are no comments - be the first to comment