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Vacant properties stir concern

Kenmore officials want to join a growing coalition of municipalities seeking guidance for dealing with vacant properties.

At their Tuesday work session, members of the Village Board discussed joining the Erie-Buffalo Vacant Properties Coordinating Council. The Tonawanda Town Board voted unanimously to get onboard the night before.

The council is the regional offshoot of the National Vacant Properties Campaign, which seeks to help municipalities revitalize vacant properties.

Trustee Sam Muscarella raised the subject after learning about the town's involvement. He cited vacant properties within village limits.

"We got quite a few," Muscarella said.

Mayor John W. Beaumont voiced his support, saying, "It's something that we should address."

A resolution solidifying the village's intentions will be voted on at the June 19 meeting.

Also at Tuesday's work session, Building Inspector Douglas Randall reported that plans have been submitted for a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory franchise to open in a former KFC restaurant on Delaware Avenue.

The corporation is based in Durango, Colo., with more than 300 stores worldwide. The Kenmore store would be the first in this part of the state, according to the corporate Web site; currently, the closest is in Niagara Falls, Ont.

Randall said it supposedly also would be the franchise's first stand-alone store in the nation. The shops typically locate in malls.

Randall said the existing building would be redone to house the new business.

At Tuesday night's regular meeting, the upcoming retirement of Public Works Superintendent Charles J. Sottile was acknowledged by the mayor. Sottile is retiring June 15 after 28 years of service.

Sottile, a former village trustee, has been public works superintendent for 24 years.


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