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Lancaster budget reaction minimal

The Lancaster Town Board heard from only two people at the public hearing for the proposed $26.4 million budget that would increase spending by 4.6 percent from last year, give municipal staff 3 percent raises and increase some property taxes by nearly 3 percent.

"I know a lot of people in private industry are not getting any raises at all," said Lee Chowaniec, a resident who came to the microphone to speak. "Just take another look at it, and see what you can do."

The board expects to further consider the budget and vote Nov. 19. In response to queries about the raises, Supervisor Robert H. Giza explained that many were part of union-negotiated contracts. The rest were given so non-union staff had the same raises.

The proposed budget would apply a 2.9 percent tax increase to residents of the town outside the village. The increase would be 0.22 percent in the Village of Lancaster and 2.09 percent in the Village of Depew.

In other business, the board:

*Voted unanimously to allow the topsoil to be removed in preparation for spring road work and sewer lines for a portion of the Cross Creek subdivision of 264 houses on Pleasant View Drive between Stony and Pavement roads. Next year, construction will begin on the first phase of 54 houses, which will sell for about $250,000 to $350,000, said Peter J. Sorgi, the attorney representing RJF Development Co.

*Unanimously approved a site plan for a Tim Hortons coffee shop on Transit Road at Michael Anthony Lane.

*Heard Shadyside Lane resident David Kirchoff talk about the reasons for a petition to limit high school parking that was signed by members of 27 households on the street. Some students who park from about 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. make noise, litter, obscure fire hydrants and are a nuisance, Kirchoff said.

The residents propose posting signs to limit parking to two hours between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. from September through June, he said.

*Discussed a plan to remove the cornerstone of the 1894 Town Hall and Opera House to examine the contents of a time capsule. This would coincide with Lancaster's 175th-birthday celebrations next year.

e-mail: mkearns@buffnews.com

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