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Worker rehired for park maintenance

After weighing costs to reinstate a city worker or contract for services, the City Council on Wednesday opted to reinstate a public works employee for five months to perform parks and ground maintenance.

The city was forced to reduce staff last September when it experienced a financial crisis because of the suspension of revenue by the Seneca Nation of Indians to the city as host community for its Seneca Allegany Casino.

Jared Talbot will be reinstated to perform the work effective May 2 at his former salary.

City officials said it would be cheaper to have a person back on the payroll than paying unemployment benefits.

In other matters, a minimum bid of $525 -- the only bid submitted -- was accepted from Tina Owens for a used 2003 Chevrolet police car with more than 150,000 miles on it. The city opened bids at $1,500, but there were no takers on the vehicle, which was declared surplus.

Alderman William Ferguson, R-Ward 2, cast the lone no vote against allowing Post 5296, Veterans of Foreign Wars, to sell beer May 13-15 in Veterans Park during a Seneca-Salamanca Area Chamber of Commerce carnival-in-the-park event.

Mayor Jeff Pond declared the annual lawn sale days in the city for May 29 through June 5.

Pond issued a certificate of service to Anthony Pascarella, who has worked 30 years as shop foreman at the Public Works Department.

Bernard Lee, retired city firefighter, was appointed by Pond as an alternate to the Planning Commission, replacing Robert Cole, who resigned.