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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Series set on storm water and erosion control

SALAMANCA -- A series of monthly Storm Water and Erosion Control Demonstrations begins Tuesday in the Olean BOCES Center in Olean and will conclude with an Oct. 9 session in the Hewes BOCES Center in Ashville.

The demonstrations, hosted by the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board, is designed to increase awareness of the impact of storm water and erosion, while providing hands-on experience in installing and maintaining erosion control devices.

Chautauqua County reported that from 1999 to 2005 storm water damage cost the county $960,500. Allegany County reported that from 1996 to 2004 the monetary impact from storm water damage was more than $11 million.

Demonstrations in the Olean BOCES will continue Aug. 21 and Sept. 18. Ashville BOCES will hold other demonstrations on Aug. 7 and Sept. 4.

For more information and to register for the program, visit the "current events" button at www.southerntierwest.org, or call Dan Reynolds, regional environmental analyst, at 945-5301, Ext. 211.

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>Council to vote on post of assistant city manager

BATAVIA -- The issue of whether the city needs and can afford an assistant city manager is headed for a showdown between the City Council and the new administrator it hired less than four months ago.

City Manager Jason R. Molino insists that the heavy workload, a $23.6 million annual budget and 160 employees, calls for an assistant. So does the City Charter. The post has been held since 1964, and Molino was an assistant for more than four months before being named manager April 1.

As least three members of the Council, led by Charles L. Mallow Jr., say they will vote against hiring an assistant because the city is in dire financial shape and can't afford another official.

However, the budget approved in March by the Council lists $59,000 as the salary for an assistant.

Council President Frank C. Ferrando says the Charter, not the Council, decides whether the post will be filled. Any change, he contends, would require a revision of the Charter.

Mallow wants a Council vote on the appointment. Council Member James R. Russell, who is leaving at the end of the year, believes any vote should be to uphold or violate the Charter.

Molino, meanwhile, has narrowed the search to four prospects he plans to interview.

The controversy will surface publicly at the Council's next meeting, Aug. 13. However, it may also be a topic next Monday at the Council's first session on the 2007-2008 budget.

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