June 22, 2008

Latest Noise Grant Targets 80 Homes

By The Buffalo News, N.Y.

Jun. 22--WASHINGTON -- The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has received its latest $4.7 million installment of federal funding for its $60 million, 10-year noise-abatement plan at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.

The grant will be used for noise abatement for 80 homes, benefiting 276 people, in Cheektowaga and Amherst.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the grant.

"The funds being delivered . . . will ensure that residents' quality of life is protected as the airport continues to grow into a thriving center of activity and a hub for economic growth in the region," said Schumer, D-N. Y.

The voluntary federal program, funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, pays for soundproofing, replacement windows and doors, central air conditioning and insulation in eligible homes.

The program, which aims to improve living conditions at upwards of 1,700 homes in the neighborhood, began with an eligibility study in 2003.

The first phase of improvements, which included 37 homes in the area, began in 2007.

While many nearby residents have praised the program, some have complained that the study excluded their homes even though they live within the range of airport noise.

While the program will last for 10 years, the agency has to apply for funds each year and is never certain it will receive them, said C. Douglas Hartmayer, director of public affairs for the NFTA.

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