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Bicentennial group sets planning sessions

LITTLE VALLEY -- The Cattaraugus County Bicentennial Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. today in the third-floor committee room at the County Center, 303 Court St. The committee is holding weekly public meetings in July and will meet twice monthly for the rest of the year leading up to the March 11 kickoff of the county's 200th birthday.

The next meeting will be held at 6 p.m. next Monday in the Olean County Building, and the committee will return to the County Center at 6 p.m. July 30.

The committee is seeking volunteers across the county to help with preparations. For information or to volunteer, call Cheryl O'Keefe at 373-8030, or email


State grants help pay for several city projects

BATAVIA -- In the past year, financially strapped Batavia has called on Albany for help in offsetting capital equipment purchases, repairs and improvements. The result is $190,000, with another $500,000 on the way.

City Hall released the figures with the arrival last week of the ninth grant, most of them member items secured by State Sen. Mary Lou Rath, R-Williamsville.

A $20,000 grant from the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services will go toward the purchase of portable radios for the Police Department. In recent months, the department received $85,000 for other equipment, including a new cruiser.

The list of benefits includes $60,000 for improvements to the city's water system and $25,000 for a sewer repair vehicle for the Department of Public Works.

On the way, following City Council approval last week, is $500,000 from the Department of Transportation for the Ellicott Streetscape. This includes aesthetic improvements along Route 63, a major thoroughfare.

The city's money problems surfaced in recent months when it was revealed that operating losses in the past three years amounted to $3 million.

In March, the city adopted a $23.6 million budget that called for a 20 percent increase in the real property tax.

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