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SHERIFF WARNS OF OVERCROWDING

Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace Tuesday told the County Legislature's finance committee that a proposal to house more federal prisoners in the County Jail to boost revenue will only add to an already-overcrowded facility.

"We have been consistently overcrowded, and (the county executive's budget proposal) would make that worse," Gerace said. "In addition there were a number of appropriations cuts. But the Finance Committee, for now, has voted to restore a limited amount of those cuts."

"Part of our jail is almost 60 years old, and we are in dire need of repairs. But these continued high-revenue projections are forcing us to keep the population above what I feel is a safe number," he added.

After an initial budget review Monday, Finance Committee Chairman Robert Butcher, R-Forestville, said lawmakers found little room to make cuts. Democrats are calling for an even deeper tax cut than the county executive has proposed.

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