>Legislators poised to eliminate comptroller
MAYVILLE -- The Chautauqua County Legislature's Democratic majority is backing a proposal by Republican Bob Duff to eliminate the county comptroller's office.
Duff proposed eliminating the post last week, arguing it was not serving any real purpose, and that the $120,000 it cost was the equivalent of putting money down a "sewer hole."
Majority Leader Chuck Cornell said the position is a duplication of services because there's an independent audit done each year, and the Legislature also has oversight.
"The county is audited by an external auditing company annually. We also have an Audit and Control Committee which has significant oversight powers over the executive branch of the government. So, it is unnecessary to have a comptroller's office," Cornell stated.
Cornell added that the county is one of the highest taxed in the nation and residents cannot afford to foot the bill for an office that is unnecessary.
>Spending to increase $1 million in new budget
BATAVIA -- A proposed budget for the financially strapped City of Batavia will total $23.7 million, about $1 million more than the current year, officials said Wednesday.
The amount to be raised by taxes would be $4.74 million, compared with $3.8 million this year. The proposed tax levy will be $9.54 per $1,000 assessed valuation, an increase of 23 percent.
City Manager Jason R. Molino said the budget is balanced, but will not help erase a $3 million operating deficit accumulated over the past three years.
>Habitat for Humanity plans at least 2 homes
SILVER CREEK -- The Silver Creek satellite of the Chautauqua Area Habitat for Humanity has acquired a 1.4 acre lot in the village where it plans to build at least two new homes for low-income families.
The property at 51 Buffalo St. was purchased through tax foreclosure, as was a home at 16 Adams St., which Habitat for Humanity plans to begin renovating next month. The group hopes to have the two-story 1,761-square-foot house ready for an eligible family by summer.
The agency already has received applications from several families hoping to receive a low-cost home.
>Neighborhood group becomes incorporated
JAMESTOWN -- A newly formed neighborhood revitalization organization has incorporated, enabling it to acquire and restore properties in the Lincoln, Liberty and Grant street areas of the city.
Northside PRIDE (Property Responsibility Investment Development Encouragement) hopes its not-for-profit status will allow it to act to reverse blight in the neighborhood. One of the group's top priorities is to reduce the number of vacant houses.
"By attaining this status, we now have the unique ability to control our own destiny and make our neighborhood thrive once again," said board president Robert Doverspike.