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Main Street promo agency takes lease

After squatting in the city accounting office for nearly three months, the city's Main Street promotion effort will have a place of its own as of March 1.

The board of Lockport Main Street on Wednesday approved a six-month lease with Steven Talarico, owner of the Old Post Office at 1 East Ave., for space on the first floor of what is now a commercial building.

Chairwoman Charlene Seekins-Smith said Thursday that the lease can be renewed. The city is committed to funding the Main Street program for at least three years.

Program manager Heather Peck said of Talarico, "He's given us a very generous lease. He is basically donating part of the rent he normally would be able to charge and the utilities as a donation to our organization."

Peck said the utility savings will be about $150 a month.

Lockport Main Street is a not-for-profit set up after the city was chosen to participate in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street program. It offers consulting assistance on how to improve a small community's business district.

The city and its development agency are pledging $12,500 each per year toward what is supposed to be a $50,000 annual budget. The rest is to come through fundraising.

One of the key pieces of advice the National Trust's officials gave the city is to place the program office in the business district. That mission is now accomplished.

"I think it's a great move," Mayor Michael W. Tucker said of the lease. "It gives the Main Street group a new identity, a place where people can come in and talk to Heather."

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

Seekins-Smith said, "It takes a while to get committees together and programs together, so we're in good shape. We can always use contributions and volunteers." Donations would be tax deductible.

Peck said she will be in Chicago for a National Trust Main Street conference March 1-3.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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