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LEGISLATORS TAP CONTINGENCY FUND FOR PET PROJECTS

What started out as a $7,000 dip into the county's contingency fund for special projects has branched out to become $79,000 in three County Legislature districts.

A resolution originally intended to support two Grand Island youth projects grew just before Thursday's meeting to provide $30,000 for City of Tonawanda police and $40,000 for Lackawanna police.

Legislature Chairman Charles M. Swanick, D-Kenmore, said the appropriations for Tonawanda and Lackawanna are awarded annually and balance the $40,000 the Legislature awarded in May to back Buffalo's teen-age curfew.

"That $40,000 we've been doing for the last four or five years to fund a police officer in Lackawanna," said Edward J. Kuwik, D-Lackawanna.

Kuwik said that suburban communities get aid from the Sheriff's Department that the cities do not.

The resolution included two student programs in Grand Island, part of Swanick's district.

A $5,000 appropriation will go to Sidway Elementary School and $2,000 will help replace equipment stolen from the Realities Cafe, a project sponsored by the Grand Island Recreation Department.

In addition, a $1,000 allocation, sponsored by Legislator Judith P. Fisher, D-Buffalo, was earmarked for the Masten Neighborhood Advisory Council, an agency that earlier this year received $50,000 at the request of Legislature Majority Leader Crystal D. Peoples, D-Buffalo.

In a separate appropriation, Kuwik obtained $2,500 for the Lackawanna Public Library.

Other appropriations from the contingency fund included: Legislator Randi Cohen Kennedy, D-Amherst, $2,500 for Amherst Symphony Orchestra and $5,500 for the Amherst Youth Board; and Legislator Lynn M. Marinelli, D-Town of Tonawanda, $1,500 to the Ken-Ton Musical Theatre and $3,000 to the University Heights Community Development Association.

The contingency appropriations are reviewed by County Executive Gorski. Recent appropriations went to the two Republicans, Jeanne Chase, representing Hamburg and Evans, and John Greenan of West Seneca, but Democrats get most of the money.

The package was passed Thursday, at what originally was scheduled as the last meeting before a seven-week recess when legislators facing election start intensive campaigning.

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