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Where we live: Lackawanna


The long overdue dredging of Smokes Creek could happen next year, thanks to $4 million from “NY Work Fund,” state Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns, D-Buffalo, told City Council members last week.

For years, Lackawanna residents – many living in the Second Ward – have been forced to pay for flood insurance even though there is a low risk of flooding, according to Councilwoman Annette Iafallo.

“Much of the Second Ward is in the flood zone and it has not flooded in decades,” Iafallo said. “We would like nothing more than to have this flood insurance removed, and dredging is one of the required steps.”

Iafallo said the dredging probably wouldn’t start until after spawning season – in June or July.

Residents have been paying from $400 to $2,800 annually for flood insurance, depending on the size of their property. Mayor Geoff Szymanski lives in the Second Ward and pays $800.

“Flood insurance is brutal if you have to pay thousands of dollars for insurance that covers the creek banks and not your personal property,” the mayor said. “I’m disappointed that it’s taking so long.”

Smokes Creek, which runs through the city’s four wards, has not come close to flooding since 1964, Szymanski said.

This week:

• Baker Victory Services was one of four organizations nationwide to win an Imagination Playground through an online voting contest was sponsored by KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing innovative play spaces to communities in need, and Merck Consumer Care, the makers of Children’s Claritin.

The mobile play sets are comprised of oversized foam blocks that can be assembled indoors or out.