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Blasdell officials take a stand against dilapidated properties

BLASDELL — Blasdell officials said they have had enough of long-standing aesthetic and safety issues existing at a few village structures. During the board’s Feb. 7 meeting, the group voted unanimously to file notices to either demolish or remediate sites at 159 LaBelle Ave. and 3705 S. Park Ave.

The sites were said to have violated a number of village code regulations as part of Chapter 100-A, which addresses unsafe and eyesore structures. Blasdell Mayor Michael Petrie reported, during recent meetings, that officials have sought to filter out these dilapidated sites and get the proper processes rolling.

“[Property owners of eyesore sites] keep stalling, and we’re going to step it up a bit,” Petrie said, in regard to the village’s stance on filing notices of demolition or remediation. Various residents in attendance last Wednesday spoke about their concerns related to the LaBelle property. A McGurk Avenue resident added that several street lights throughout Blasdell were not operating at that time, possibly due to recent winter storms and high winds.

In other meeting action, it was announced that the village of Blasdell and the Blasdell Department of Public Works – Civil Services Employees Association Inc. Local 1000 and AFSCME Blasdell Blue Collar Unit No. 815 had agreed on a four-year contract lasting until May 31, 2017. Petrie described the contract as fair for both sides, and credited those who helped formulate the agreement, through negotiations.

During department reports, Blasdell Police Lt. Joe Gramaglia cited a case from last August that involved police response at 109 Arthur Ave. and resulted in various drug arrests, to go along with approximately $42,500 being seized from the case; roughly $21,000 of the money was allocated to Blasdell for law enforcement purposes. Village police had followed federal proceedings in the case, collaborating with the United States attorney general’s office; the town of Hamburg Police K-9 unit was utilized. Large quantities of marijuana were found and seized, following the law enforcement response.

Gramaglia described the case as “a great collaborative effort” involving police agencies.

The village board approved the appointment of Robert Kibler as a part-time police officer in Blasdell. Kibler worked for the Gowanda Village Police Department for the last four years.

The board also approved the resignation of Johnathan Sutton as a part-time officer from the Blasdell Police Department. Petrie thanked Sutton for his time on the force and said, “It’s sad to see him go.”

In other department reports, Fire Chief John Welch said that the Blasdell Volunteer Fire Department responded to 32 calls in January, with 25 involving emergency medical technician response and 15 of those requiring transportation. The village board also approved a motion to add Kathy Stocklosa to the active rolls of the fire department.

The next regular Blasdell Village Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at the village municipal building.
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