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The North Tonawanda Common Council on Saturday shaved another $77,000 from the city's preliminary 2001 general-fund budget, reducing an estimated 41-cent tax rate increase to 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

At a special Saturday morning budget session called by Council President Catherine G. Schwandt, who was unhappy with the preliminary budget adopted Tuesday, the Council approved further cuts recommended by city accountant David R. Jakubaszek.

Still not totally satisfied, Schwandt directed Jakubaszek on Saturday to send a memo to city department heads asking them to come up with further cuts.

The general fund now stands at $25.3 million. The tentative tax rate is $14.48 per $1,000 of assessed value, compared with $14.19 last year.

Jakubaszek noted that the tax rates depend on final assessment figures.

A public hearing on the preliminary budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 12. The Council will consider adopting it at a meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 14.

The cuts included:

A $30,000 appropriation to hire a new police officer.

Recreation department cuts of $14,000 from playground staffing; $15,000 from city recreation swimming programs, calling for possibly closing the Wurlitzer pool or reducing its hours of operation; and $10,000 from youth programs at the community center.

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