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STATE STILL HOLDS THE KEY TO COUNTY OUTLAYS IN '91 THREATENED CUTS IN AID FROM ALBANY WOULD DERAIL REVISED SPENDING PLAN

County Executive Gorski and legislators have their ears and eyes on Albany awaiting action on threatened cuts in state aid that could throw a monkey wrench into the just-passed county budget.

If the worst happens, the county stands to lose $9.2 million in state aid in the coming year.

"We're just waiting for the other shoe to drop," Legislature Chairman Roger I. Blackwell, D-Buffalo, said. "For today, this is a good budget. But all that could change tomorrow if the state tosses a bomb in our direction. We just have to wait and see what happens."

The lawmakers and Gorski made a series of adjustments to the fiscal plan as a hedge against the loss of state funds. But no one knows for sure which of Gov. Cuomo's proposals the State Legislature will accept.

"It's in the hands of our friends down the Thruway," Gorski said. "At this moment in time, we have a budget that is fiscally sound, reasonable and includes no gimmickry. I hope I can say that a month from now."

The $912.4 million budget, steered into place by the Democratic majority, includes $1.1 million in spending not envisioned by the county executive in his original proposal.

Gorski said he supports about 99 percent of the changes lawmakers made in his original budget proposal, adding that it generally "falls within the contours" of his original proposal.

He has until midnight Monday to veto any additions to the budget. The list of suspect additions includes $5,000 for the Tonawanda Football Clinic, $5,000 for the Buffalo Irish Center and $750 each for the AFL-CIO Cheektowaga Labor Day Parade and the West Seneca Veterans Day Parade.

While department heads and agency officials generally accept the Legislature's handiwork, one group is devastated.

The 1991 budget includes no funding for the 25-year-old Erie-Niagara Regional Planning Board. Lawmakers followed Gorski's lead in dismantling the board's nine-member staff and creating two planning positions in the county Department of Environment and Planning.

"I'm extremely disappointed that the county executive and the legislators have decided to put us out of business," said Jack Quinn, Planning Board chairman.

The planning group, which received $181,745 this year, had requested $286,317 for 1991.

Quinn said the board's special committee would meeting Friday to discuss shutdown procedures. He said layoff notices to staff and contract termination notices to clients probably will go out at the end of the week.

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