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The Chautauqua County Legislature's Environmental Committee agreed Tuesday night to establish a separate Department of the Environment. The department will deal with all aspects of solid-waste disposal, including operation of the Town of Ellery landfill.

Legislator Thomas Harte, R-Lakewood, the committee chairman, said moving the operations out of the Public Works Department will make them easier to keep track of.

A plan to increase landfill user fees will come up for vote early in 1991. Harte said under the proposal most areas would see a 26.5 percent increase, but sludge disposal fees could double. The vote was postponed pending completion of a landfill management audit.

The committee agreed to accept some bulky and solid waste from Cattaraugus County at the landfill. Legislator Robert Kron, D-Ellicott, cast the only dissenting vote.

He said he wanted to wait until the management audit was in.

If approved by the Legislature, Cattaraugus County would pay $54 per ton to dump bulky waste at the landfill and $44 per ton for municipal solid waste.

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