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Measure would require green building standards

New facilities built by Erie County government, or large-scale renovations of its buildings, should conform to green building standards, according to a bill proposed by two county lawmakers.

Legislators Timothy M. Kennedy and Maria R. Whyte, both Buffalo Democrats, want future facilities to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards established by the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

The standards stress the use of recycled materials and the conservation of water and energy. The two legislators also are pushing measures to force the government to buy more of its energy from renewable sources and to buy Energy Star products and appliances.

Their bill says future county government buildings of at least 2,500 square feet or major renovations should meet the silver standard, the second of four ratings used by the Green Buildings Council.

The largest project being planned under the government's umbrella is the placement of new dormitories at Erie Community College's Orchard Park campus. But Kennedy said the dorms would not be subject to the law, if passed, because they are sponsored by the ECC Foundation, the college's nonprofit fundraising arm.


State agencies to finance area housing projects

Two state agencies approved more than $4 million in affordable housing grants and mortgage insurance commitments for Western New York.

The State of New York Mortgage Agency and the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation will finance the construction and renovation of 193 housing units.

Among the grants:

*The Historical Warehouse Lofts, 201 Ellicott St., will receive $2.75 million in mortgage insurance, a key component of the financing for the $8 million project that involved a 30-unit apartment building.

*The Martin Luther King Block Club Association will receive a $75,000 AHC grant to rehabilitate five housing units.

*The Citizens Alliance was approved for a $75,000 AHC grant for the improvement of seven units in the Delavan-Grider area.

*The Niagara Community Action Program will receive an $80,000 grant to rehabilitate 16 housing units in Niagara County.

*The Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation was approved for a $300,000 AHC grant to rehabilitate 35 housing units in Chautauqua County.

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