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LOCKPORT – The Town Board on Thursday began the process of having two abandoned houses demolished.

The houses, at 4853 Gothic Hill Road and 6361 Tonawanda Creek Road, both have been foreclosed upon by the banks that held their mortgages.

Town Supervisor Marc R. Smith said Chief Building Inspector Brian M. Belson has decided that both homes are in poor enough condition that they pose a danger to the community.

Councilman Mark C. Crocker said both are contaminated with black mold.

Smith said the Town Board will hold a public hearing at 1 p.m. April 23 on the demolition orders. That will start a 90-day period during which the banks will be instructed to tear down the houses. If they don’t, the town will do so, Smith said.

On another topic, Crocker said the town intends to redo a public opinion survey of town residents that it conducted in 2006.

The survey will be contained in the summer newsletter, about 7,000 copies of which are to be mailed in June, and also will be available on the town website.

Crocker said most of the questions will be the same as eight years ago, asking residents about what they think should be the town’s priorities for development and improvement.

In 2006, when asked how they would rate the Town of Lockport as a place to live on a scale of 1 to 10, the average response was 7.89, with 68 percent giving the town a rating of 8 or better.

Crocker said the town wants “to compare with our results from eight years ago and see how the residents perceive that we’re doing.”

Smith said about 5 percent of town residents responded to the 2006 survey.

The board also approved Smith’s request to attend the New York State Economic Development Council’s four-day development training June 23-26 in Albany.

The registration fee is $600, and Smith said lodging and other expenses will push the cost above $1,000.

Also, the board voted to allow the Barge Canal Optimist Club to hole a bicycle safety rodeo June 9 in Day Road Park, with the town paying $300 toward the cost of the event.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com