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Mark Poloncarz will hold citizen forum in Boston

BOSTON — County Executive Mark Poloncarz will host three citizen forums to “help determine the needs and priorities of low and moderate income residents residing within the Erie County Community Development Block Grant Consortium,” according to a representative from his office.

That consortium is comprised of 34 municipalities, excluding the city of Buffalo, the towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Tonawanda and their associated villages. The information gathered at the forums will assist the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning in preparing the 2013 community development application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

One public forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Boston Town Hall community room, located at 8500 Boston State Road in Boston.

“These public forums provide an opportunity to increase citizen awareness and participation in the consortium’s federal community development program, by allowing the general public, as well as agency advocates for low and moderate income individuals, the elderly and handicapped, to offer suggestions and information on the needs of these populations to county and municipal officials,” said Poloncarz’ office.

“Housing needs, such as affordable housing and housing for special populations ... and community and economic development needs, such as transportation, jobs, community facilities and infrastructure ... will be prime topics for discussion at the forums.”

The forums will serve as public meetings for Erie County’s Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs.

Each will cover four areas: housing, public and human services, community and neighborhood development and economic development needs, plus a review of CD program performance, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Information obtained from the meetings will be used to formulate the Erie County Consortium’s Community Development 2013 action plan. The update process will begin early next year.

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