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NEWS IN BRIEF

Salamanca adds 23 fire volunteers

SALAMANCA -- Unlike other communities around Western New York, the city has increased its roster of volunteer firefighters by 23 in the last three years.

Most areas are suffering from a decline in volunteer firefighters and are looking at new ways to recruit more members for fire departments.

At its recent annual dinner, the Salamanca Volunteer Fire Department honored members and installed new officers.

Mayor Carmen Vecchiarella, who attended, said he was impressed to learn the membership has increased from five to 26 active members since 1998.

The volunteers supplement the city's paid firefighters to provide fire protection and ambulance service.

Busti to receive assessment grant

BUSTI -- Town officials have announced they will receive another $30,000 in grant money from the state Office of Real Property Services for efforts to create "fair and equal" assessments.

Supervisor Dale Robbins said Monday that Busti was recently approved for its second grant, this one for the year 2000. Busti is one of 15 towns across the state getting such funding.

Robbins said updating town assessments on an annual basis "makes sure that our taxpayers aren't paying any more than they should be paying in property taxes."

The grant, he said, is "testimony to the good job that Randall Holcomb and Kathy Andrews are doing in our Town of Busti (assessment) office, and we're pleased and proud to be getting those funds."

Holcomb has been town assessor for more than a decade. Last month, Busti and the Town of Chautauqua each received nearly $30,000 from the state for efforts in 1999. Holcomb also serves as assessor in Chautauqua.

Olean Council to discuss grants

OLEAN -- The Olean Common Council will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday to consider six first-time home buyer grant applications for $15,000 or less.

The money will assist low- and moderate-income home buyers with down payment, closing and rehabilitation costs on homes priced between $31,000 and $60,000.

Also under consideration are three revolving loan fund requests for $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000. The money would aid development and expansion of local businesses in the city.

The meeting will follow a 6 p.m. Committee of the Whole meeting.

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