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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Building conversion gets $50,000 grant

The developers who are converting the Buffalo Electric Vehicle Co. Building at 1219 Main St. into 60 low-cost living and work spaces for artists have received a $50,000 grant from Home & Garden Television's Restore America Initiative.

Artspace Projects of Minneapolis and Belmont Shelter Corp. of Buffalo are restoring the five-story building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was an automobile factory from 1911 through the 1930s and later used as a car dealership and vocational training center.

It will be featured in a 30-second public service announcement to be aired throughout January on HGTV and in a 30-second video on www.HGTV.com/restoreamerica. Construction is expected to be finished next July.

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Center to get $750,000 in products, services

The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, Cheektowaga, will receive $750,000 in products and services from Fujitsu, an international information technology provider, it was announced Wednesday.

The grant will include computers and video conferencing equipment, among other things, that will allow for real-time record keeping that will promote communication among care teams.

The center is among 15 hospice providers through the United States, as well as the Alexandria, Va., headquarters of the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, to benefit from the grant, totaling more than $13 million.

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IDA hearing to air power plant purchase

WHEATFIELD -- The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency Wednesday announced that a public hearing will be held at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in Niagara Falls City Hall on aid to the purchaser of a Niagara Falls power plant.

USRG Niagara Biomass, a subsidiary of U.S. Renewables Group of Santa Monica, Calif., is purchasing the coal-burning plant on Frontier Avenue from Wisconsin Power Systems for $30.9 million. It plans to invest another $7.8 million to convert the 52-megawatt plant from burning coal to burning biomass -- mostly untreated scrap wood.

There are 18 years left on a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes deal the IDA set up for a previous owner of the plant in 1999. USRG wants to increase that to 20 years but in return would increase the payments in years six through 20.

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