State au­dit says town over­billed Fort Ni­a­gara for sewer service

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - – Thomas J. Pro­haska – Lou Michel – San­dra Tan – News staff re­ports

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.

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