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4-year supervisor term up to Lockport voters

The Town Board decided Tuesday to let voters make the call on whether the supervisor should have a four-year term.

If the proposition the board passed Tuesday is approved by voters in November, the winner of this year's race for supervisor will serve four years instead of two.

Supervisor Marc R. Smith, who is expected to seek re-election, supports the proposition. He has complained that he was raising funds for this year's race only a few months after taking office last year.

On another topic, the board passed a resolution urging the state to pass a law canceling the property tax benefits condominium owners have over other forms of homeownership.

Condos are assessed at about half as much as a regular home of the same value. The issue has become controversial since David L. Ulrich and Timothy Mulvey are proposing a 92-acre condo development off Beattie Avenue, a plan currently before the Planning and Zoning boards.

Councilman Paul H. Pettit, who moved into a condo two months ago, cast the only vote against the resolution.

"It's a matter of commitment to me," he said. "I didn't move into a condo for low taxes; I moved in for a lifestyle change."

And he said many elderly people who have made the same decision are counting on keeping their tax advantage. Pettit said taxpayers who gripe about the possible impact of the Ulrich-Mulvey project should complain to the county and the Lockport City School District, whose taxes are both higher than the town's.

Also Tuesday, the board awarded Kandey Co. of West Seneca a $447,000 contract to move a sewer pump station on East High Street, which is currently on a resident's front lawn.

It also passed a resolution condemning a bill in Albany that would allow for statewide cable television franchising.

Smith said besides the loss of local control, such a law might endanger Lockport Community Television, which operates three popular public access channels on local cable.

"Since we have a premier local origination, we would lose that benefit," Smith said.

The board also scheduled a May 2 public hearing on adopting the state's amended building code.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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