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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

Grant to aid roof repair at Richardson Complex

The Richardson Olmsted Complex has received $200,000 through a Save America's Treasures grant to fund part of a slate roof replacement estimated to cost $493,000 on Towers Building 45.

The additional funds, and a new copper roof projected to cost $635,000, will be paid for with state funds approved under the Pataki administration. Work is slated for 2012.

The original roof, removed more than 30 years ago and replaced with asphalt shingles, is in poor condition. The copper cladding is approximately 100 years old and in need of replacement.

In addition, Empire State Development this week authorized the final Generic Environmental Impact Statement and Notice of Completion, as required.

The agency is expected to vote its approval for the General Project Plan in mid-April, which will mean the remainder of the $76 million set aside for the project can be used for construction.

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Auto bureau unable to do some transactions

The Cheektowaga Auto Bureau today will be unable to process learner's permit transactions and transactions for original driver's licenses, commercial driver's licenses or the transfer of a license from another state because the National Driver Registry system will be down, according to the Erie County Clerk's office.

Customers still will be able to register vehicles, renew vehicle registrations, renew driver's licenses, transfer registrations, register boats and trailers and surrender license plates.

The bureau, at 2122 George Urban Blvd., will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Agency gets grant to help stabilize neighborhoods

West Side Neighborhood Services has received a $68,150 grant from NeighborWorks America to help stabilize communities west of Main Street in Buffalo.

A flexible funding source, the money will help WSNHS provide funds for homebuyer education, owner-occupied rehabilitation, foreclosure and community building programs, said WSNHS Executive Director Linda Chiarenza.

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Consolidation project questioned by residents

Several residents this week questioned Orchard Park School District officials about the plan to consolidate the transportation and district offices on 13 acres on Southwestern Boulevard.

If voters approve in May, the district would purchase and renovate the property, which has five existing buildings, in an $11.5 million project. The project can be funded through state aid, the sale or lease of existing facilities and savings on building rental, officials said.

About two dozen people attended an information session in the middle school. One resident asked why the district would buy the commercial property and take it off the tax rolls. Elizabeth Borchert also said Angle Road could not handle the extra buses.

Jeffrey Petrus, assistant superintendent, said it would cost a bit more in gas for some buses, but the district will save even more by moving buildings and grounds to the current transportation center near the middle school.

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