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Town opposes special district to fund library

The Newstead Town Board this week went on record opposing the creation of a special tax district to fund the operation of Erie County's public library system.

The board passed a resolution Monday night which said it believes the county can "adequately fund" the library system, and stated its opposition to closing any library branches or curtailing hours of operation.

The board said the county is "merely trying to transfer the obligations onto some other entity so it can take it (the library system) out of the county budget and that by establishing a special library district such an action will merely create another taxing district in a state where too many taxing districts and autonomous authorities already exist."

The Town Board "encourages the Erie County Legislature, the county executive and the board of the Buffalo & Erie County Library System to solve any funding gaps through other economies such as continued negotiations with county labor unions, reductions of any unnecessary staff, use of volunteer labor and aggressive pursuance of grants as well as corporate and individual donations."

Newstead has a branch library on Main Street.

In other business, the board:

Heard comments from a handful of residents reiterating objections to plans by the Christian Airmen to expand and do improvements at Akron Airport. The comment period on the Town Board's negative declaration on the environmental impact of the project ends Thursday.

Supervisor David Cummings said the board will review all comments on that document, which spells out a number of conditions on the project affecting noise, drainage and safety, before passing it on to the Planning Board. That board is expected to review the matter at its Sept. 22 meeting. If it approves, the matter moves to the Zoning Board of Appeals, which will decide whether to grant a zoning variance for the project.

If the Zoning Board approves the variance, a site plan would have to gain Town Board approval.

Created the position of deputy town attorney and named Jennifer Strong, law partner of Town Attorney Nathan Neill, to the post at no salary. Strong is also Marilla town prosecutor.

Set a hearing for 7:50 p.m. Sept. 12 on a site plan from Richard Beyer for a park golf course -- like a miniature golf course -- on a parcel at 7033 Sandhill Road.