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Town of Lockport gives highway chief pay raise to go with new duties

LOCKPORT – David J. Miller, the Town of Lockport’s highway superintendent, received a substantial salary increase Wednesday as a result of new duties imposed on him last month.

The Town Board, after a public hearing, voted Miller a pay hike of $15,833 for the rest of the year, bringing him to a total of $91,691. Miller’s raise is prorated; it would be $20,000 for a full year.

On March 16, the board voted to terminate Operations Director Daniel A. Dodge and gave Miller Dodge’s assignments, which included water, sewer, parks and town building management. Dodge had been earning $61,852.

Dodge’s discharge was a budgetary decision and not a firing, Supervisor Mark C. Crocker said at the time. Dodge had been with the town since September 2013. His title of operations director had been a new one for the town.

Also Wednesday, the board agreed to let the developers of Meadow Condominiums have a permit to build roads, and water and sewer lines in their subdivision, and turn them over to the town for maintenance once completed.

Those developers include Councilwoman Patricia Dufour, her husband Ralph, and former Town Attorney Daniel J. Seaman, partners in a company called 5937 Wynkoop LLC after Dufour’s home address.

The Planning Board approved the 20-unit condo project off Sherwood Drive in March 2015. The infrastructure will be built at the developers’ expense.

Dufour abstained on the vote, and Town Attorney Michael J. Norris, Seaman’s law partner, also took no part in the discussions leading up to Wednesday’s vote. Construction is to begin next month.

The board also voted for a resolution protesting Lockport’s exclusion from one of two community grant programs funded by Yahoo through Empire State Development. The other grant program is exclusively for the Town and City of Lockport but the board wants in on the other one, too.

After griping at Empire State Development over the Yahoo issue – “respectfully,” Crocker emphasized – the board accepted a $19,000 grant from ESD to be applied to the cost of engineering and environmental studies for the expansion of the town industrial park off Junction Road.

The town acquired 91 acres adjacent to the park from General Motors through eminent domain last year.