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Legislators adopt policy on housing

To ensure continued federal and state assistance in housing programs, the Genesee County Legislature voted Wednesday to adopt a fair housing policy required of all municipalities.

Although the county has had no complaints or cases of discrimination in the 12 years since the housing program began, it must adopt and administer a fair housing policy to continue receiving community block grants, provided by the federal Small Cities Development program and the state's Office for Small Cities.

Assistant County Manager Frank V. Ciaccia will administer the policy, which involves notifying banks, real estate agents and landlords of "affirmatively promoting equal access to all housing programs, whether county sponsored or not, and banning discrimination and assuring equal opportunities, including accessibility for the handicapped."

The county, which only recently became aware of the policy requirement, will incur no additional costs. It has no enforcement powers but acts as an information resource and referral agency.

In other business at their sole meeting this month, the legislators named Randolph Garney of Elba part-time interim director of the Public Health Department. Dr. Victor J. Desa, a retired Batavia surgeon, held the post briefly after Christine M. Szwagiel's resignation as director. The county is seeking a permanent director.

The Legislature accepted a $75,525 state grant to offset expenses of the Youth Bureau's partnership with the Job Development Bureau.

Legislators approved $27,000 for pager interface software and installation for the Sheriff's Administration Building, nearing completion. New World Systems of Troy, Mich., will provide the equipment, to be financed with Enhanced Wireless 911 deployment grant.

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