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The town and village were shut out in the latest round of funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

The Town Board submitted a request for $100,000 to pay for replacement of sidewalks and curb cuts in the town, outside the village, while the Village Board approved a request for $57,525 in sidewalk repair work on several blocks within the village.

The sidewalk projects were the communities’ top priorities, while the boards as a second option requested $100,000 for a skateboarding and biking park that would be built in town-operated Keysa Park.

Thomas J. Dearing, Erie County’s deputy commissioner for planning and economic development, recently informed the town and village that the project selection committee for the block grant program had rejected their funding applications.

The letters don’t provide an explanation for the rejection, but state the committee received 46 applications seeking a total of $3.27 million for 2013.

The committee approved six projects with a value of $586,323, including $100,000 for relining the Suffield Street sanitary sewer in Depew, according to county records.

Also this week:

•The School Board meets for a budget work session at 6:30 p.m. Monday in the board room of the former Central Avenue Elementary School, 149 Central Ave. Board members will discuss spending on instruction – the largest portion of the district’s budget – and special education.

•The Village Board meets at 7 p.m. Monday in the Municipal Building, 5423 Broadway, with a work session beginning at 6. This is the last board meeting prior to the March 19 village elections.

•Tax counselors are providing income-tax preparation assistance each Thursday through April 4 at the Lancaster Senior Center.

The free tax counseling is offered on a first-come, first-served basis from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and is a service of the AARP and the Internal Revenue Service’s Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. There are no restrictions based on age or residency, but the counselors can’t provide assistance to high-income earners.

Interested people should bring their prior year’s returns, current W-2s and 1099s and other relevant documents. For more information, including income eligibility, call the center at 685-3498.


This item was updated on Feb. 25 to correct the eligibility requirements for the income-tax preparation assistance. People receiving tax assistance don’t have to be members of the Lancaster Senior Center, nor do they have to be seniors or residents of Lancaster, but there is a maximum income level. Call the center for further details.