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Hearing on proposed law that would give more control to board scheduled in July; Decree would speed up demolishing ruined sites

A public hearing will be held next month on a proposed new law to make it easier for Depew officials to demolish dilapidated structures in the village.

The aim of the new law will be to bring more control to the Village Board, rather than having to take matters to State Supreme Court, said Village Attorney Mark Aquino.

"It will definitely expedite the process," Aquino said.

The proposed law also will more clearly define what "unsafe" conditions are, because the parameters in the current village law are somewhat vague, he said.

The hearing will be held at the start of the next Village Board meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. July 25 in the Depew Municipal Building, 85 Manitou St.

In addition to that hearing, public comment also will be taken on two other proposed new laws that night.

The first would establish limits for the parking of oversized and nonmotorized vehicles.

While the proposed law is still being drafted, the village is looking at existing codes in the Town of Cheektowaga and the Village and Town of Lancaster, according to village trustees.

It was prompted by recent complaints from a Banko Drive resident who had concerns about safety hazards caused by a vehicle parked on the street next to his driveway.

The second proposed law would prohibit parking on one side of three village streets: Argus Drive and Lincoln and Grant streets. Parking would be prohibited on the side of the street that has fire hydrants, officials said.

In other business:

*The board approved the hiring of Anthony Fischione of West Seneca as a new, full-time assistant code enforcement officer. Fischione, who will start Wednesday, will be paid a salary of $35,700 for the civil service position.

Earlier this month, the board voted unanimously to create the position. Mayor Steven P. Hoffman previously said the new post was needed because there is more work than the two existing part-time code enforcement officers can handle.

The position was not in the current village budget but will be paid for out of a contingency account, Village Administrator Elizabeth Melock said.

Fischione will have one year to complete state certification classes.

*The board voted unanimously to hire Quentin Steffan as a part-time recreation attendant. His wage will be $7.25 an hour, Melock said.

*The board agreed to transfer about $47,000 in leftover funds from previously awarded community development block grants to an account to be used by the Cheektowaga Community Development Department to fund home rehabilitation projects for income-eligible residents who live in the portion of Depew that's also within the Town of Cheektowaga.

*The board awarded a contract for a two-year lease of three police vehicles to DeLacy Ford of Elma for $53,848. The company was the only bidder, officials said.