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Live Blog: Cheektowaga Town Board

Join T.J. Pignataro, Cheektowaga's reporter for The Buffalo News, who will report live from Cheektowaga Town Hall starting at 6:45 p.m. tonight for the town board's regularly scheduled meeting.

Besides an agenda item authorizing the Cheektowaga Police Department to purchase more than $25,000 in ammunition for its SWAT and patrol units, will be another matter concerning a Dale Road development project -- and, likely even more comment by residents irked over the recent move to garbage totes.

6:45 p.m. -  Welcome to Cheektowaga Town Hall. The town board is assembling. The pledge is next up.

6:47 p.m. - You can follow along on tonight's agenda, which is here:


6:48 p.m. - The 2nd of 2 public hearings on the 2013 Community Development Block Grant program in Cheektowaga is beginning now.

6:51 p.m. - Carla A. Kosmerl, Cheektowaga's Director of Community Development, is at the mic explaining the program to the board now. She estimates the town will be eligible to receive about $882,000, including about $200,000 in home partnership funds and $500,000 for programs.

6:53 p.m. - "It is all based on whatever Congress determines. It's all based on an estimate," Kosmerl said of the figure, which is expected to be reduced by about 10 percent from last year.

 6:55 p.m. - Jerome Gabryszak, who previously ran the town's community development department, told the board that Cheektowaga has lost about $260K in federal CDBG funds over the last two years alone. "It's based on cuts Congress has made to reduce federal funding on discretionary spending, which is what this is determined to be."

6:56 p.m. - "Over the last several years, we've done quite a bit," said Stan J. Kaznowski III, councilman, who encourages the town to reach out to the city of Buffalo to see in what ways they could team up for the benefits of both communities, especially along Cheektowaga's western border with the city. "There's still more to do."

6:59 p.m. - One of the areas that the town has allocated CDBG funds is in home rehabiliation. The town has a long waiting list, which is now backed up about 3 years.

7:02 p.m. - New homeowner from Pine Ridge neighborhood explaining his plight to the town board about rehab program. He said he went to the Office for Housing and Rehabilitation for help. He repaired "a hazardous electrical system" and a roof. He now has a issue with his heating program.

7:07 p.m. - Man says he was assured could get 60% grant/40% loan to fix these emergency heating issues and that he meets the thresholds for income and other criteria by town officials, now is being told that's not the case. Due to meet with Supervisor Mary F. Holtz Wednesday.

7:08 p.m. - Town officials said he applied under an "emergency" provision, which is only available to be disbursed from CDBG funds as a "loan" but he can get it right away. He can go "to the end of the line" for which there is a 3 year waiting list if he's going for the grant.

 7:11 p.m. - Man is eligible for a 1.5% loan, town officials said. Resident contends he was told by the town he was applying not just for the loan, but also a grant.

7:12 p.m. - Kosmerl says resident was "certainly told he could join the waiting list along with others who have been on the waiting list for three years" during a personal meeting the Kosmerl in her office in recent weeks.

7:13 p.m. - Resident's name is Andrew Lipinoga from 112 Ridge Park Ave. His wife, Eileen, is now addressing the board.

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