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City, Walmart seek dismissal of suit

Attorneys for the city and Walmart have filed court papers seeking the dismissal of a federal lawsuit challenging the retailer's proposed construction of a supercenter.

A suit filed in October alleges violations of federal water-pollution laws, including some during initial preparation of the site near Niagara Falls Boulevard and Erie Avenue.

The lawsuit was filed by Catherine A. Kern of North Tonawanda, Kathy R. Kaminski of Amherst, Clean Water Advocates of New York and the Niagara River Preservation Society.

Besides Walmart and the city, the state Department of Transportation also was named in the suit, which alleges that Walmart did not obtain the proper permits and that the city did not follow the legal requirements in developing its storm water-management plan.

No initial court date has been set before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara, said City Attorney Shawn P. Nickerson.

Plans for the construction of the store have been received by the city Building Department, said City Engineer Dale W. Marshall.

At Tuesday's Common Council meeting:

*Lawmakers approved an application for a state grant to continue studying the possibility of sending potable water treated at the city's plant to the City of Lockport.

The cities of North Tonawanda, Lockport and Niagara Falls -- which have been studying the issue of sharing water services for several years and received a $400,000 grant for that purpose in 2006 -- are asking for funds through the state's Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant Program.

The new grant would help study the condition of three miles of Lockport's water supply line from the Niagara River.

*Gary J. Franklin, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, received a key to the city from Mayor Robert G. Ortt. Franklin, a 35-year city employee, is retiring at the end of the year.

*The swearing-in ceremony was set for City Clerk-Treasurer Scott P. Kiedrowski. He will take the oath of office for a one-year term at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 in Council Chambers. Kiedrowski, a Republican who was appointed to the position in January, defeated Democrat Gregg R. Schnitzer in the November election.

e-mail: abesecker@buffnews.com

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