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Population rise boosts sales-tax share

The Town of Lockport will gain an estimated $176,000 in additional sales tax revenue this year because of its increasing population, Supervisor Marc R. Smith reported at Monday's Town Board meeting.

Niagara County divides 51.4 percent of the total local sales tax revenue among cities, towns and villages, based on population.

The Town of Lockport's population rose from 19,655 to 20,529 in the past decade, according to the 2010 Census. As a result the town will receive 4.87 percent of the total sales tax collection instead of 4.5 percent.

Councilman Paul W. Siejak said the numbers were worked out by retiring Budget Officer Robert A. Lipp and his successor, Kate Carter.

In other matters at Monday's work session, the board received the resignation of Alan M. Hamilton, longtime chairman of the town Industrial Development Agency board.

Hamilton, who turned 80 last week, has been on the board for 19 years, 14 of them as chairman. Smith said a replacement will be chosen soon.

The board voted to buy four heart defibrillators, one for each town building, for $4,380 from Specialized Services, operated by Stephen M. Wallace of Lockport, who outbid two other companies.

The package includes carrying cases, wall-mounted units, battery charge packs and a training class for 12 town employees.

The town sought the units following a Feb. 5 incident at the Lockport Athletic and Fitness Club, where a patron collapsed with a massive heart attack. Two other men used the club's defibrillator to save his life.

Also Monday, Town Attorney Daniel E. Seaman proposed two local laws on water and sewer matters, which may reach the formal agenda at the May 4 meeting.

One would give the town the authority to repair sewer vent pipes at homes if they are leaking runoff into the town's sewer system. The county would be indirectly paying for the repair, since it has agreed to pay the town $20,000 a year to repair such leaks, Smith said.

The law allowing the town to install the A-clamps on the private sewer vents is needed because "the maintenance of sewer laterals is [normally] a private obligation," Seaman said.

The water law would enable the town to cut off water service to anyone who refuses to allow meter readers on his property, Seaman said. It also would codify the town's existing fee of $35 every time water service is turned on or off at the resident's request, a situation that often affects snowbirds.

"Town forces have to go out both times," Seaman said.

Another provision of the new law specifies that a property owner, not the town, has to pay when a connection to a water main has to be run beneath a road.

e-mail: tprohaska@buffnews.com

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