by Susan Mikula Campbell
Town of Niagara Supervisor Steve Richards expects to have more information on the transfer of former U.S. Army property on Porter Road to the town after attending a conference with military officials next week.
Richards, Councilman Rob Clark, town Industrial Development Agency member Timothy Heary and Dan Bristol, executive director of the town's Local Redevelopment Authority, will be attending the Association of Defense Communities conference in Miami.
Richards said he usually does not attend these conferences, but as the town's chief financial officer, he is hoping to get more information on the ownership transfer of the former U.S. Army Reserve Center and Area Maintenance Facility. He also wants to take advantage of information available from other communities in the nation that have already been through the process or are in the process of acquiring former military property.
Richards said the town still would like to use the big hangar on the property at 9400 Porter Road for aircraft-related business, but said, "The NFTA has been less than cooperative in granting access to the airport's taxiways." The town also is investigating the possibility of a major hotel and/or inexpensive airport parking at the facility.
In other meeting news:
•The board approved a change of venue for its next meeting. It will be held on Tuesday, March 20, at the Calvin K. Richards Center in Veterans Park, across Lockport Road from Town Hall. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. as the town's Bicentennial Committee honors senior citizens and businesses that have been in the town for more than 50 years.
•Another part of the town's bicentennial celebration received approval with a contract to hire Skylighters of Western New York to produce a fireworks show on June 30. Price is not to exceed $10,000.
•The board approved the request of Robert Nichols of Niagara Falls Transportation Inc. to combine two lots on Porter Road (Marco's Foreign Cars property) to relocate his tour bus agency.
•The board approved the purchase of a new commercial mower with bagger and power assist for $8,134.56 (plus $250 freight) and a 4-by-4 utility vehicle for $10,761.44 from low bidder Niagara Lawn and Garden Equipment. Richards abstained from the vote, noting that the owner of the business was his son Michael. He added that the equipment will be paid for by a $25,000 grant for equipment obtained for the town by State Sen. George Maziarz. The town plans to use the remainder of the grant for a ball field grooming tractor.
•The board changed the town's out-of-town travel expenses guidelines to increase the per diem rate of $60 per day (set in 2007) to $100 per day.
•The board approved $3,000 for 2012 training of K-9 Cody from the Town of Niagara Police Department.
•The board approved the outdoor liquor license for the LaSalle Sportsmen's Club.