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LOCKPORT – After the May 11 fire that destroyed the Town of Lockport’s storage shed for recyclable electronics, the Town Board has decided to consider seeking prices for a smaller storage facility to be built in Day Road Park.

The facility would measure 20 by 40 feet and be used for park storage, Supervisor Marc R. Smith said during a work session Wednesday.

Before the fire, the town was planning a 30-by-60-foot metal pole barn with an overhead door, allowing drivers to pull in and drop off their electronics for recycling. The town was to use the rest of the area for storage and perhaps even as a pound for dogs picked up by the animal-control officer.

That building was to have been erected behind Town Hall, the same location as the 10-by-16-foot shed that burned.

The fire was blamed on an overheated battery in one of the appliances that had been discarded. “At this time, we have no reason to believe it was arson,” Smith said.

The board will review possible designs for the new storage building before seeking proposals. It will not include recycling drop-off; the town is directing residents to take their old electronics to a private business in Wrights Corners, the Niagara County Redemption Center.

In another matter Wednesday, Councilman Paul W. Siejak reported that sales tax receipts for January through April were down by nearly $71,000 from the same period a year ago.

Since the town has no general property tax, sales tax revenue is a key component of the town budget. But Smith said the town budgeted to receive $150,000 less in sales tax receipts this year than it received in 2013, so there is not yet any crisis afoot.

According to the 2014 budget, the town anticipated $2.3 million in sales tax money for the general fund, $2.2 million for the highway fund and $400,000 for the fire protection fund, Budget Officer Kate Carter said.

Most of the shortfall was in the March payment. With the roundabout route taken by sales tax money – the store pays the state, which pays the county, which pays the localities – Smith said there’s about a 60-day lag between when a consumer makes a purchase and when the town receiving its share. That would place the worst performance in January, the heart of the coldest winter in decades.

The board also voted to buy a new dump truck and snowplow from Beam Mack Sales & Service for $206,801, and it approved a new five-year contract with Johnson Controls to maintain the alarm, heating and air-conditioning systems in town buildings.

The climate-control contract will cost $19,500 a year, while the alarm contract will start at $9,038 in the first year and rise gradually to $10,172 by the fifth year.

email: tprohaska@buffnews.com