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Russo Foundation donation put to good use in the village of Hamburg

HAMBURG — The village of Hamburg will utilize a $2,500 donation from the Russo Family Charitable Foundation to replace some holiday decorations and hasten the repair work being done on a clock that was formerly located on Main and Buffalo streets.

According to Village Administrator Donald Witkowski, during the village board’s Dec. 16 meeting, the foundation specified that a portion of the donation be designated for Hamburgh Holiday decorations.

While Mayor Thomas Moses brought up the oft-suggested idea of extending the Hamburgh Holidays Christmas decorations, including snowflakes, farther down Buffalo Street, Board Member Paul Gaughan brought up some logistical issues.

“Right now, we’re trying to just maintain what we have and not add on to people’s work load,” he said, but added that Hamburgh Holidays is thankful for the donation.

Recreation and Parks Department Supervisor Josh Haieck noted that the village had been discussing replacing some of its holiday wreaths, which are showing wear and tear.

Witkowksi said that the Russo Foundation asked to be given specific items, to note on its tax-deductible receipts for this donation.

Deputy Mayor Thomas Tallman spoke up about the non-designation segment of the foundation’s donation. “Now that we have a funding source, I’d like to allocate some of that money to the clock,” he said, regarding a village timepiece that is currently being repaired.

The board agreed to dedicate this donation to the replacement of holiday wreaths and the repair of the village’s clock.

In other matters:

– A cell phone provider that has requested to put an antenna onto the village’s water tower has submitted photos of the proposed placement.

According to Board Member Mark Colmerauer, the pictured design placed the antenna below the crown of the tower, thus not visually blocking the holiday star, but he asked that wording be added, specifying that the actual arrangement comply with the given photos. “It doesn’t look intrusive,” Tallman said, “but I would like to specify that these photos show exactly what they plan to do.”

– A village resident’s request to house four dogs (in excess of the village’s three-dog limit) was denied. The board noted that it has approved short-term requests for an additional number of animals, but those “had a beginning and an end,” Tallman said. “They just want another dog,” Gaughan noted. “The others had a reason and they were temporary.”

– Gaughan reported that recent Hamburgh Holidays events “went off in great fashion.” He said that the lighting of the star was, again, very successful and that coordinating events with the Village Business Advisory Committee “was fantastic.”

Board Member Laura Hackathorn said that she was encouraged by seeing local families enjoying the events, but Tallman noted that a combination of weather and attendees made parking difficult.

– Dennis Bacon has been awarded permanent status in the position of motor equipment operator, effective Dec. 17.

– According to Colmerauer, Hamburg is on a list to obtain recycling totes; a matching grant will help with the cost. He said that the village would need to adapt a truck for these totes.

– An audit, conducted by Amato, Fox & Co. P.C., certified public accountants of the village of Hamburg, is available for public record in the clerk-treasurer’s office.

– Tallman reminded the board that next year will mark Hamburgh Holidays’ 50th anniversary, and recommended that some sort of commemoration be held.

– Marc Shuttleworth of the department of public works said that a few used fire department vehicles will be utilized for “Jaws of Life-type training,” and then scrapped. He reported that he also saved the village more than $100,000 by buying a used chassis, which Moses said “looks brand new.”

– Christopher Corteau was awarded permanent status in the position of junior motor equipment operator, effective Dec. 17.

– The village of Hamburg Department of Public Works was the winner of the 2013 Hot Mix Asphalt Showcase Award from the New York Construction Materials Association Inc. The village of Hamburg was noted as being the project coordinator and the project supplier, and the award producer was Gernatt Asphalt Products Inc.

– The board approved the transfer of $10,228 into the police equipment reserve; this money was received by Erie County for the 2012 driving while intoxicated program.

– Raymond Zabron was accorded permanent status in the position of junior motor equipment operator in the DPW, effective Dec. 17.

– Douglas Schurr and Brandon Witt were accorded permanent status as truck drivers for the DPW, effective Jan. 1.

– The board approved a site plan application from Coyote Cafe for the installation of a cooler behind the building. Screening was also recommended.

The next Hamburg Village Board work session will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, with the regular board meeting’s following, at 7.

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