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As bridge is closed, funds are sought

The State Street Bridge has been closed by the Village of Akron, and state funding is being sought for replacing or rehabilitating it.

Robert W. Kowalik, village superintendent of public works, reported during Monday's Village Board meeting that the bridge, which crosses Murder Creek, connecting Skyline Drive and East Avenue, was closed Oct. 16 "to err on the side of safety."

Noting the state's fiscal woes, Kowalik considers it unlikely that there would be funding available to rebuild the bridge but holds out hope that assistance will be available for temporary repairs.

Kowalik said that the closing of the span does not not affect school bus routes, that emergency services have been notified of the situation and that pedestrians can continue to cross the bridge.

The state Department of Transportation had flagged the bridge for closing because of its deteriorated condition.

In other business, the board got a report from VRI Environmental Services, which operates the wastewater treatment plant, showing a savings of nearly $200,000 since 2003 in hauling liquid and dry sludge from the plant for disposal. The savings is primarily attributed to installation of sludge-drying beds.

The village Planning Board held a public hearing on plans by Akron Development LLC of Williamsville to build 83 patio homes and 25 single-family homes at Clarence Center and Hake roads. The project, under review for at least six years, has undergone a number of revisions, according to Brian T. Perry, Planning Board chairman.

One item he stressed was that the housing units would be heated by gas rather than electricity because of the latter's demand on the village electric plant.

Village Attorney Daniel D. Shonn Jr. and Village Engineer Paul M. Bowers emphasized that environmental-impact criteria, including drainage, have been addressed. Shonn also said that the development would be operated under a homeowners association and that it cannot be converted into condominiums, which would allow a tax break for the property owners.

The developers said the project would be built in 10 to 12 units annually.

The board also set 6 to 8 p.m. for Halloween trick-or-treating Oct. 31. The Akron Fire Company will be asked to sound its siren to mark the opening and ending of the event.

The board agreed to levy a $50 deposit for use of the shelter and/or gazebo in Russell Park on Main Street. It would be refundable based on satisfactory cleanup of the park after an event.

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