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LOCAL BUSINESS NEWS

'Reliever' airport celebrates upgrades

Buffalo-Lancaster Airport on Friday celebrated the completion of $4 million in upgrades designed to enhance safety at the Lancaster facility and pave the way for attracting more corporate aircraft, officials said.

"These projects are very significant . . . in terms of safety and security," airport President Tom Geles said.

The general aviation facility off Walden Avenue is designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a "reliever" facility, to shift small planes away from Buffalo Niagara International Airport. Its 3,200-foot-long runway is capable of landing planes up to 10,000 pounds, including small jets.

The upgrades, funded by federal and state grants, provide a taxi-way to move planes off the runway. They also include increased hangar space, perimeter security and more parking.

An extension planned in 2009 will stretch the runway to 5,500 feet in length. That and the recently completed upgrades will allow the airport to land corporate-class jets, Geles said. The Lancaster Town Board approved the extension in May.

There are 44 planes housed at the facility, all but four of them single-engine, according to FAA records. The privately-owned airport handles a mix of transient and locally based aircraft.

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Lake Shore Bancorp to buy stock shares

Lake Shore Bancorp said its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 141,342 shares of common stock, representing about 5 percent of outstanding shares not owned by a mutual holding company.

This is the second stock buyback program authorized by the Dunkirk-based parent of Lake Shore Savings Bank. Last spring, the board approved a similar 5 percent plan, for 148,781 shares, in its first share repurchase program since it went public in 2006.

Lake Shore Bancorp is publicly traded, but is majority-owned by Lake Shore MHC, a depositor-owned company that guarantees local control of the bank. Its shares are not counted when considering outstanding stock.

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Environmental firm declares dividend

Ecology & Environment has declared a six-month dividend of 18 cents per share, payable by Jan. 11 to shareholders of record of both Class A and Class B stock as of Dec. 28.

This marks the 43rd straight dividend since the Lancaster-based company went public in 1987. It is traded on the American Stock Exchange.

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