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City of Lockport, with federal grant, offers aid to first-time homebuyers

LOCKPORT – With a $400,000 federal grant in hand, the city is again offering aid to people who want to buy their first home.

Kevin McDonough, city housing coordinator, told the Common Council last week that Lockport has made 340 such deals since 1993.

Mayor Anne E. McCaffrey said the city lacked the first-time homebuyer grant for a few years, but has obtained the money again and is ready to take applications.

McDonough said prospective homebuyers can obtain as much as $19,000, depending on their income level. Applicants must earn less than 80 percent of the median income in the Buffalo metropolitan area.

McDonough said that those interested in the details of the project may call him at 439-6686.

Also last week, the Council gave the go-ahead to a 15-year-old Eagle Scout candidate to repair the Dolan Park gazebo.

Daniel Serveiss said he intends to repair the roof and install planters at the sides of the gazebo. The Lockport High School sophomore said he will seek business and community donations to cover the cost, which is undetermined.

His mother, Jenmarie Serveiss, said that if the planters are installed, the Girl Scouts she leads will be able to earn their gardening badges. Daniel said the stone around the gazebo makes it impossible to plant now.

Kreg Parker, Daniel’s Eagle Scout mentor, said the planters will be prebuilt.

In another matter last week, the Council gave permission to a Lockport skydiver to parachute into the middle of the city’s Independence Day celebration in Outwater Park.

Patrick Steiner of the Western New York Skydiving Demonstration Team will have to work out an exact landing area with Police Chief Michael F. Niethe. Steiner also must obtain the proper insurance to protect the city.

The city also granted All Saints Catholic Parish a special-use permit to enlarge St. Patrick’s Cemetery on Glenwood Avenue by about a half-acre. The addition to the east side might produce about 500 more burial plots. Almost 11,000 graves currently exist in the cemetery, which is 150 years old.