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Lockport town attorney resigns; garbage contractor’s pact renewed

LOCKPORT – Daniel E. Seaman, who has been town attorney since 1999, announced his resignation at Tuesday’s work session of the Town Board.

In a letter read by Town Clerk Nancy A. Brooks, Seaman, who would have been paid $113,809 this year, said he would step down as of April 20 to concentrate on being the full-time managing partner of his new law firm.

The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that Seaman is setting up a new firm with his son Brian D. Seaman, county Republican Chairman Michael J. Norris and Assistant Public Defender Michael E. Benedict.

As of April 30, Seaman is leaving his current firm of Seaman, Jones Hogan and Brooks. “This is why I am retiring at this time,” he wrote in his letter of resignation.

Seaman, 67, said he will continue in the role of attorney to the town’s Industrial Development Agency.

Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said that three lawyers will be interviewed for the town attorney post and that a choice will likely be made at the April 24 board meeting.

“It’s always good to have someone with municipal experience,” Smith said.

Seaman said that when he took the job, he expected to have it for three or four years. “It turned out to be 14,” he said.

On another matter, the Town Board approved a three-year extension of its garbage and recycling contract with Waste Management.

Things won’t change much. Councilman Mark C. Crocker said Waste Management sought no fee increase in 2014, a 2 percent increase in 2015 and no further increase in 2016.

“Overall, I think we’re getting a good deal from Waste Management,” said Crocker, who compared quotes from two other companies.

Waste Management allows residents to place as many as six 60-pound bags of trash and one large item at the curb every week. Smith said that’s twice as much garbage as a 90-gallon tote would permit.

He said calls to Town Hall asking for a change to a tote program are “very infrequent.” He said calls asking for an increase in the number of bags allowed are more common.

“We don’t have a rodent problem in the town, which is the main reason for going to the totes,” Smith said.

Brooks said Waste Management will rent totes to people who want them. Smith said wheeled totes can be bought at hardware stores, but Waste Management won’t allow their use for recycling, only for garbage.

Councilwoman Cheryl A. Antkowiak said efforts need to be made to get more residents to sign up for the RecycleBank program of prizes for recycling participation. She said 22 percent of the town’s waste is being recycled, but only 5 percent of residents have signed up for the program.

Also Tuesday, the board agreed that the town would take over an abandoned house at 6804 Erica Lane, which Niagara County had foreclosed upon because of unpaid taxes.

“It’s been an eyesore for that neighborhood,” Smith said.

He said Chief Building Inspector Brian M. Belson’s opinion is that the house can be rehabilitated and sold.

“It’s a house the bank walked away from,” Seaman said.