State audit says town overbilled Fort Niagara for sewer service
The Town of Porter has overbilled Fort Niagara State Park by $152,900 for sewer service since 2014, according to a state audit released Thursday.
In 1970, State Parks signed a contract to use Porter’s sewers. In1996, the town changed the billing basis from the park’s share of the total sewer flow to its amount of water use, but the contract never was altered.The sewage is treated inLewiston, which in 2013 started billing Porter for debt service on sewer upgrades.
Porter passed those charges along to State Parks and another user, the Village of Youngstown. State Parks kept paying, but Youngstown refused. A subsequent townvillage lawsuit remains unsettled.
Porter Supervisor Merton K. Wiepert told the State Comptroller’s Officediscussions are planned with State Parks, but he did not acknowledge overbilling.
Funeral homes collecting toys for military families
Collection barrels for toys have been placed inside Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg and Curtin Funeral Home in West Seneca. The toys will be given tofamilies of active duty military members and veterans.
Toys can be dropped off 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, said Charles A. Castiglia, president of the funeral homes.
“We’re part of a national network, Veterans Funeral Care, and one of our commitments is to run Operation Toy Soldier,” Castiglia said. “There’s active duty military who have been called up from the reserves who are struggling to pay their bills due to the loss of revenue from their regular employment. This also helps veterans who are struggling to transition from active duty to mainstream society.”
After-hour donations can be arranged by calling Castiglia at 627-2919.
Poloncarz lobbies state officials for opioid treatment center funds
If Broome County won’t make immediate use of the money the state wants to provide for an Opioid Treatment Center, Erie County will.
The state offered $2.7 million to Broome County to help set up a drug crisis treatment center, which would offer inpatient treatment to those struggling with withdrawal, but the Broome County Legislature is delaying action on the offer until early next year.
Poloncarz responded Wednesday by sending a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Assembly and Senate leaders saying such a center would be welcomed in Erie County as a critical hub in “this scourge on our society.”
“Opioid addiction does not wait, it does not take days off, and addicted individuals literally could be moments away from the dose that kills them,” he said in a statement. “This game-changing center will save lives.”
Police seek person of interest in fatal shooting of man Tuesday
Niagara Falls police continued their hunt Thursday for Charles Lee Walker Jr., 24, of Niagara Falls, identified as a person of interest in a fatal shooting Tuesday afternoon.
Police said Walker, described as black, 6 feet tall and weighing 165 pounds, may be driving a silver 2011 Chevrolet Impala with the licence plate HFL-5991. They warned that Walker is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Anyone with information should call 286-4711.
Crime Stoppers Buffalo posted a photo of Walker online and offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Walker is sought for questioning about the death of Ladrae Walker, 26, of Niagara Falls, who was shot in the chest on Highland Avenue.