• Published

Christmas has come early for about 70 cultural and civic organizations in Erie County.

The Erie County Office of Budget and Management has authorized the release of all remaining cultural and public benefit payments for 2013, Maria Whyte, commissioner of the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, announced Saturday.

To safeguard against a budget deficit, the county held 10 percent of the organizations’ allocated $5.648 million until fourth-quarter numbers came in. Those final payments will be released and made available to the county Friday.

“It’s a testament to the tight budgeting from the executive and legislative branches,” said Legislator Lynn Marinelli, D-Town of Tonawanda, in an email. “It’s important to our community’s economics and our tourism efforts.”

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