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Legislature supports merger of Amherst IDA

The Erie County Legislature on Thursday expressed its support for the merger of the Erie County and Amherst industrial development agencies, but by a close tally.

The resolution, sponsored by Legislator Timothy M. Kennedy, D-Buffalo, was described as a "reform measure" that will curtail duplication and competition among local industrial development agencies by merging the area's two largest. Kennedy said "parochial thinking" granting IDAs to several municipalities throughout the county has proved one of the reasons for the exodus of jobs and people over the past several decades.

But opposition was led by Legislator Robert Reynolds, D-Hamburg, who said statewide action on merging IDAs is expected soon.

"This needs to be settled on a statewide basis," he said.

Reynolds said he also feared merging the two agencies would create an entity surrounded by questions about who would lead it, who would serve on its board, and how its borrowing would be conducted.

"This supports the merger, and I'm not in support of this merger," he said.

Kennedy's measure eventually passed, 9-6.


Fire Department gets $17,000 in state aid

A total of $17,000 in state aid has been secured for the City of Tonawanda Fire Department, State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Amherst, and Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, D-Kenmore, announced Thursday.

The money will be used to upgrade the emergency generator in Tonawanda Fire Headquarters.


SPCA says joys of Easter can put pets at risk

Lilies and chocolate are synonymous with the joy of Easter, but they can be fatal to pets, the SPCA Serving Erie County warns.

The smallest bite of an Easter lily or other variety of lily can cause kidney failure in cats, which will lead to death if not treated immediately, the SPCA says.

Chocolate is dangerous because of alkaloids and fat, the SPCA adds, which can lead to cardiac failure, seizures, coma and death if it is eaten by cats or dogs.

The SPCA also advises pet owners to keep Easter basket "grass" and foil candy wrappers away from pets and to be wary of all holiday plants brought into the home. For more information, consult a veterinarian or visit

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