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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Spitzer OKs bill allowing city to borrow funds

OLEAN -- Mayor David Carucci announced Thursday that Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer has signed legislation allowing the city to float $4.3 million in deficit bond funds. The bill was approved recently by the State Legislature and paves the way for borrowing enough money to balance the general, water and sewer funds. Auditors from the state comptroller's office said they had a combined deficit of $4.2 million.

Carucci, vacationing in Arizona, said Thursday he hoped less money will be needed than the legislation authorizes.

"I'm hoping it will be closer to $3.7 [million] or $3.8 million," he said. "I don't want to borrow more than what I need."

The bonds will require annual payments of about $538,000 for a decade.

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>Planners reject request for mercantile rezoning

FALCONER -- The Town of Ellicott Planning Board has recommended against rezoning about 55 acres of land for commercial development on Route 60 just north of Interstate 86.

Planning Board Chairman Dan Evans said the board made its decision Wednesday night after hearing from a dozen people, mainly residents of the area of Horton and Moon roads who oppose the change.

Evans added that Planning Board members felt that there already is enough land zoned mercantile in that area to accommodate development.

Tyler said that more than 30 of the 55 acres in question already are zoned mercantile. The other 25 acres, Tyler said, are zoned residential-agriculture.

Evans said the Planning Board received eight letters from residents asking for the board to turn down the request by Jim and Debbie Carlson. The Carlsons are the developers who wanted to bring a "big-box" store to Fairmount Avenue; those plans ultimately were rejected.

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