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Albion finally hires town attorney

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2014 at 12:00 am

Board backs James Bell of Brockport, a ’70 Albion grad

ALBION – The Town Board finally resolved an impasse over hiring a municipal attorney. James Bell of Brockport, a 1970 Albion graduate, was hired at a $25,000 base pay.

Bell will also bill the town $175 an hour for work involving litigation. He works as the Sweden town attorney and also for Orleans County for some legal matters.

The decision at Monday’s board meeting followed three meetings in January when the board couldn’t reach a majority decision for an attorney. The board couldn’t muster three votes to bring back Robert Roberson of Lockport, who served in the roles in 2012 and 2013 at a $36,000 annual pay. The board also considered John Gavenda of Albion and Andrew Meier of Medina.

Board members Dan Poprawski, Richard Remley, Todd Sargent and Town Supervisor Matt Passarell all voted for Bell on Monday. Town Councilman Jake Olles abstained.

The Town Board also recognized members of the Downtown Albion Neighborhood Advisory Committee which volunteered for two years helping with a downtown grant that provided more than $300,000 in matching funds for building projects and nearly $50,000 streetscape improvements that should debut in the spring.

The DANAC members include Clifford Thom Sr., Brad Shelp, Gary Katsanis, Gerald Baehr, Ron Ebbs and Neil Johnson, as well as alternates Kim Remley, Dean Theodorakos and Sue Starkweather Miller.

Passarell thanked the committee for helping to see the grant funds approved for several projects in the downtown.

Kevin Lake, president of the Albion Main Street Alliance, thanked past Town Boards for pursuing the grant and working to approve the projects. Lake said AMSA would like to work on additional community projects for the community with the current Town Board.

“This summer I saw a downtown I’d never seen before with so many lifts,” Lake told the Town Board. “People were busy working on their buildings. That was pretty cool.”