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Coalition seeks more for roads, bridges

Erie County Executive Chris Collins is joining a coalition of public and private sector leaders who think Western New York is getting shortchanged when it comes to state funding for road and bridge projects.

Collins said the region has historically received more than 9 percent of the infrastructure dollars allocated each year by the state Department of Transportation. He said the region's share dropped to 4.4 percent this year, a loss of $75 million.

His plea for more money came just three weeks after a bipartisan group of county legislators made a similar plea. Lawmakers also noted that Western New York is scheduled to receive only 6.7 percent of the federal stimulus money earmarked for road and bridge projects across the state.

Collins was joined by members of FAIR (Fair Apportionment of Infrastructure Revenues), a coalition of engineering firms, construction companies, consultants, and union and non-union labor that advocates for infrastructure projects across the region.


Residents vote today on size of Town Board

Alden residents will vote today on whether to reduce the size of their Town Board from five members to three.

Polls will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Alden Town Hall, 3311 Wende Road. If the measure is approved, the Town Board seats held by Arlene Cooke and Ronald Snyder would be eliminated Jan. 1, 2012.


Holding Center workers reject contract proposal

Unionized employees at the Erie County Holding Center have turned down a contract proposal that would have required them to contribute to their health insurance payments, especially in retirement.

The employees, members of Teamsters Local 264, voted 295-126 against the contract settlement.

In return for the health care concessions, union members would have received a lump sum payment that county officials said would have averaged $4,000 a worker, plus a more generous pay scale and six raises of 3 percent a year starting Jan. 1.

Grant Loomis, a spokesman for County Executive Chris Collins, said the administration sees a possibility of reaching a new settlement with the Teamsters and will continue to negotiate with the union.


Colarusso wins Independence Party nod

It looks as if Janis Colarusso will be the Independence Party's nominee on the November ballot for Orchard Park supervisor.

In unofficial results for the Independence Party's primary election, Colarusso received 66 votes and Patrick Keem received 60 votes.

Keem had initiated an "opportunity to ballot" through write-in votes in the primary Sept. 15 against Colarusso, who is town clerk.

Colarusso is the Democratic and Conservative Party nominee as well, while Keem has the Republican nomination.

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