LOCKPORT – The Common Council voted last week to accept Niagara County’s offer of new, free police and fire radios.
The deal committed the city to joining the county’s new $10 million emergency radio system, which is to be constructed in 2013.
The radios are designed to be interoperable with all other fire and police agencies in the county. They cost almost $5,000 each, which is about 10 times more than the city’s current models, and the city will be responsible for replacing them when they wear out.
However, the city will continue to handle its own police and fire dispatching, Mayor Michael W. Tucker said.
The delay in coming aboard the county bandwagon was in part due to a fear that the city would have no input on how the system will be managed. That worry has been mitigated by a county promise to let all agencies have a say.
“They wanted me to sign a contract to follow the rules and regulations set forward, but they haven’t been written yet,” Tucker said. “We were very concerned the City of Lockport was going to have some input.” In other action, the Council set an Oct. 17 public hearing on adding unpaid refuse bills to the 2013 property tax bills. The practice has long been followed for unpaid water and sewer bills, but the refuse bills were just created when the system was privatized last fall.
Corporation Counsel John J. Ottaviano said beween 200 and 250 bills are unpaid. City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri said residents have 60 days to pay the semiannual bills without facing late fees.
The city also accepted Housing Visions’ donation of a new sewer main serving three of its newly built multiple dwellings on Genesee Street. When looking to connect the homes to the sewer main, Housing Visions’ contractor found there was no main for 153, 155 and 159 Genesee.
“They’re paying for the whole thing, materials and installation,” said Alderman Patrick W. Schrader, D-4th Ward.
At first, Housing Visions wanted to split the tab with the city. “We would have been setting a precedent by paying for a new sewer if someone built more houses, like on a new street,” Schrader said.
The Council also voted to buy two mixing trucks for the compost plant for a total of $214,222 from Hunter Buffalo Peterbilt. The cost of one was in this year’s budget and the money for the other will be borrowed, Schrader said.
The Council also scheduled Halloween trick-or-treat hours from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31. The official municipal Halloween party will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 in the City Hall parking lot.