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Return of portion of money is a positive step

Our local leaders in State government – Sen. Mark Grisanti and Assemblyman Sean Ryan – deserve credit for their part in helping restore a portion of funding to the Town of Hamburg for their portion of revenue from the video gaming lottery at the Hamburg Casino.

This rings true especially for Grisanti, who started the fight last summer before he even became a representative to the Town of Hamburg. His seat was redistricted and that change took place in January, two months after he was elected to his second term in the state senate.

By all rights he did not have to work toward representing an area that in 2012 he technically did not, but he took it upon himself to work to get back what rightfully should be in the Town of Hamburg budget.

In 2011, Gov. Andrew Cuomo slashed about $600,000 from Hamburg’s revenue for the video gaming lottery. Thanks to the efforts of our state representatives, just over $122,000 of that money will return to the Town of Hamburg in 2013.

This is still a far cry from restoring funding to the 2008-09 levels, which is the goal. But a 22 percent increase in funding is a good way to start, and Grisanti and Ryan each deserve credit for making this a reality.

Town Supervisor Steven Walters said at this time, there is no specific plan for the money. It will go into reserves.

When it comes time to work on the 2014 budget, Walters said this additional money will help keep tax rates down in the Town of Hamburg.

This is money that never should have been taken away from the town in the first place.

Walters admitted that the fight will continue. We hope it continues to be a success and the 22 percent can get closer to the 100 percent level. Thank you to Grisanti and Ryan for a good start.

• A phrase that is starting to pop up again around the Town of Hamburg is “master plan,” but this time it is in connection with the town’s future plans for recreation.

Although it is not technically part of the process, Danielle Pietrocarlo DeWitt, owner of Dani-Fit on Lakeshore Road in Hamburg, is spearheading a project to build an adult fitness area at the Nike Base. With one fundraiser imminent and another in the works, if all goes well, this will be built in 2014.

The project will include a pushup/pullup area, a Berlin wall and a rope climbing wall.

The nice part is that it will be free for residents to use.

As Martin C. Denecke, director of youth, recreation and adult services for the Town of Hamburg pointed out, it will be a nice option for those who bring their children to, as an example, a baseball practice. Parents have about an hour or so to themselves.

There is always the choices of going grocery shopping or watching practice, among several options. But a place to work out is another good option and one which, if it comes to fruition, will be another solid addition to the Nike Base.

DeWitt also said she may offer classes at the facility. There will be a fundraiser on Saturday, April 13 at J.P. Fitzgerald’s in Hamburg, beginning at 8 p.m. The cost is $25 to attend and tickets can be purchased either at the studio, located at 3218 Lakeshore Road, or at

• With a last rush of winter weather hitting Western New York over the last week, we want to give credit to our area highway departments and departments of public works for keeping the streets clean and dry.

This is especially true for Monday night, where a brief storm left streets icy and in poor condition. The streets were dry Tuesday morning and we would like to thank those workers for their hard work. Now, onto spring.

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