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CATTARAUGUS HAS RECORD SURPLUS OF $6.8 MILLION FOR FISCAL 1994

Cattaraugus County closed fiscal 1994 with a record $6.8 million surplus, up from $3.9 million the year before.

Treasurer Joseph G. Keller gave his annual report to legislators Wednesday and suggested ways to spend the extra cash.

Keller pointed to several areas of the budget that produced more revenue than anticipated:

$185,458 more in interest and penalties on property taxes.

$121,000 in the community college budget.

$938,502 in the account for education to the handicapped, attributed to a reduction in tuition rates from the state Education Department.

$362,155 in the Health Department budget.

Transfer into the road fund of $108,000 from the general fund.

$990,558 from an enterprise fund for the refuse-to-energy plant at Cuba, which was closed.

$642,748 -- road-machinery fund.

$1.3 million in the Social Services Department. Last year, the same account posted a deficit of more than $127,000. Additionally, there was a $205,516 surplus in the Child Care Program, and $198,655, Aid to Dependent Children.

There were some deficits, including $120,503 for the Department of Aging and $146,718, Machias Nursing Home.

Keller said of the $6.8 million surplus, $2 million was used to lower 1995 taxes, $100,000 went into the self-insurance fund and $892,000 into a reserve fund.

Keller said the balance of $3,897,000 can be used in the following manner:

$1 million for bonds due for the refuse-to-energy plant, the county's obligation to the the year 2000.

$500,000 for 1995 equipment purchases instead of long-term borrowing to save $100,000 in interest over five years, and using $1.2 million to lower taxes in future years.

This would still leave $1.2 million for other purposes, Keller said.

Legislators accepted the report but made no comments.

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