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NIAGARA NEWS BRIEFS

>3 state grants boost intermunicipal sharing

NIAGARA FALLS -- State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, Thursday announced three state grants under the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant Program:

* $400,000 for the cities of Lockport and North Tonawanda to determine the technical, economic and legal feasibility of merging their water and sewer services.

* $275,321 for Niagara and Erie counties to create a Geographic Information System network, which would include connections to emergency 911 centers in both counties.

* $77,060 for the Town of Wilson and the City of Niagara Falls to implement a shared assessment services project. Wilson's properties would be inventoried and revalued by the Niagara Falls city assessor.

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>Site-development rules OK'd for large projects

NORTH TONAWANDA -- The Common Council on Wednesday gave final approval to site-development regulations that will apply to large retail and residential projects.

The regulations were drafted over a period of months by the advisory Environmental Commission, under Chairwoman Mary Kate Fonzi, in conjunction with the Planning Board.

The regulations, which are an amendment to the zoning ordinances, set standards for items such as landscaping, parking, signage and lighting in an effort to improve the city's aesthetics.

The regulations will apply to the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter at Niagara Falls Boulevard and Erie Avenue, officials said.

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