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LOCKPORT – A formal response to a state audit of the city’s management techniques is being drawn up by Alderwoman Anne E. McCaffrey, R-2nd Ward.

In July, the State Comptroller’s Office released a report that criticized several aspects of City Hall management.

Auditors found that the city’s bills were not being reviewed by the Common Council; that the city accounting and payroll system depended too much on a single employee; that the code of ethics and the computer usage policy were outdated; and that the Fire Department does too few inspections.

Wednesday, McCaffrey showed her colleagues her draft of the Council’s reply. The Council already has begun closer bill review, with new reports being submitted and the Finance Committee meeting twice a month instead of once a month.

Last month, the Council passed a new procurement policy with rules for buying items not costly enough to be subject to competitive bidding.

McCaffrey said she’s been researching codes of ethics, since Lockport’s hasn’t been amended since 1970, and she’s found half a dozen ways it could be strengthened. She said all employees and officials will have to read it annually and sign affirmations that they did so.

A response from Fire Chief Thomas J. Passuite on the inspection issue is expected to be incorporated into the city’s reply. The low number of inspections was blamed on the small number of personnel trained to do them.

Also Wednesday, the Council voted to allow Livingston Place to be blocked off on Halloween night to allow for the annual concert by the neighborhood’s band of impersonators of the rock group KISS, which has become a substantial attraction.

A petting zoo will be added this year to benefit Lakeview Animal Sanctuary, whose Pendleton facility was destroyed in a Sept. 11 fire.

The city’s official Halloween party is set from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the City Hall parking lot, with trick-or-treating allowed that night at 30 downtown businesses.

Friday also is the last day to vote in the contest for the best- decorated pumpkin. More than 300 were entered by third-graders at Lockport schools. They are on display at city stores. The prizes are new bicycles and helmets for a girl and a boy, all donated by Niagara County Sheriff James R. Voutour.

Friday also is the first day for the “Happy House” at the Lockport Family YMCA, a nonscary alternative for very small children. Admission is $1. The East Avenue facility will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.

A “Mysteries of Lockport Paranormal Walk” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, starting at Sweet Ride Rentals, 51 Canal St. Admission is $15 and includes cider and cake bites. Reservations recommended by emailing jill@sweetriderentals.com.





email:? tprohaska@buffnews.com