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Engineering work contract OK'd

The Elma Town Board at its meeting Wednesday night authorized Supervisor Dennis Powers to sign a $37,000 contract with Clark, Patterson and Lee for engineering work on the Elderberry Lane and Geyer Road highway project.

Work is expected to begin in the late spring. In addition to paving, new water pipes will be installed. The work will be paid for with a block grant of $100,000.

The historic North Star Tavern, 7340 Seneca St., will be reopened as a tavern featuring "comfort food" with a fine dining flair, according to new owner John Davidson. Davidson has a five-year lease to own with longtime owner Marie Younger O'Brien's daughter Patty.

The Town Board issued a business-use permit Wednesday for the 151-year-old tavern. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

Davidson said he and a partner intend to feature the North Star's history, including keeping the old pictures on the walls.

The North Star, built in 1861 by Martin Taber on the Aurora and Buffalo Plank Road, now Seneca Street, had numerous owners before Marie O'Brien's parents, William and Anna Younger, bought and operated it after World War I.

Renowned for its turtle soup, residents used to bring in turtles they caught for the tavern's stock pot.

Marie O'Brien began operating it in 1957, and her daughter took it over in 2007.

In 1975, members of the Elma Historical Society chose the North Star Tavern as the recipient of the bicentennial Historic Marker, and on Sept. 25, 1976, more than 100 people gathered for the official dedication of the marker.

In other business:

*The board accepted with regret the resignation of Claudia Stradtman, chairwoman of the Assessment Board of Review, due to a conflict with her job. The Assessment Board of Review will name a new chairman in June.

*Code enforcement officer Joseph Colern was appointed American Disabilities Act officer at no extra pay.

*Chuck Kaminski, of Stolle Road, was directed by the board to apply for a permit for fill to beautify his property before coming to the April 18 board meeting.

*John Warchocki, of New Bullis Road, told the board he was concerned about the number of cars parking along South Blossom Road by the railroad tracks at night and asked the town to consider putting up an inexpensive barricade.

*A business-use permit was issued to Buffalo Dance Center, 2329 Bowen Road. The studio will open on April 21 and classes will begin on May 1.