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The Genesee County Legislature Wednesday moved another step closer to its goal of having the county's newest park open by late June.

Meeting in the Oakfield Town Hall, the lawmakers filled seven of nine positions on a newly created county Parks, Recreation and Forest Advisory Board.

Those appointed are George Squires, Elba; Eric Randall, Corfu; John T. O'Brien, Town of Batavia; Harry Strobel, Le Roy; Mary Miller, East Bethany; Bruce Russell and Barbara Matarazzo, both of the City of Batavia.

Two additional appointments -- one from the towns of Alabama and Oakfield and a second from the city -- will be made soon.

The advisory board represents each of the county's nine legislative districts. Legislature Chairman Carl J. Perkowski said the board will hold an organizational meeting April 3.

In a related resolution, the legislators adopted fishing permit regulations for the park. Permit fees will help offset maintenance costs.

Officials want the newest park, to be known as the DeWitt Recreation Area, to be open this summer for swimming, fishing and boating.

The site on Cedar Street in the city, a former sandwash, was donated by the B. R. DeWitt Co. last year with the provision that it be used as a park.

In his report, County Manager Jay A. Gsell said the county stands to lose $1.145 million in state revenues if Gov. Pataki's budget is adopted.

Nearly half the loss -- $448,000 -- would hit the county Nursing Home where six categories of state funding are slated for elimination or reduction.

Gsell observed that there has been "little (state) mandate relief to offset these cuts."

He urged legislators to contact Albany to protect state-funded programs. The Legislature's meeting in Oakfield was the first of four "outreach meetings" to be held in locations throughout the county this spring.

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