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The Chautauqua County Legislature's finance committee Tuesday night put its mark on County Executive Andrew Goodell's proposed 1998 budget.

Finance Chairman Robert Butcher, R-Forestville, said his panel cut another 9 cents off the full-value tax rate, dropping it to $8.84 from the current $9.10. Most of the $360,000 cut in the tax levy came from using more of the fund balance.

"The fund balance would still stay within the 7 percent our auditors feel is necessary to maintain," Butcher said. "It will still be right around $9 million."

Butcher said the committee cut about $100,000 from the Industrial Development Agency accounts, mainly in contractual items, and added another $49,000 to the Sheriff's Department budget for overtime costs. Another $20,000 was added for part-time help in the County Jail.

Those moves came after Sheriff Joseph Gerace complained the jail was overcrowded since he is forced to take in additional federal prisoners in order to increase revenue.

The panel finished its review of Goodell's $149 million spending plan, then voted for the package, 5 to 2.

The Legislature will vote on the budget Oct. 22, after public hearings scheduled for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. the same day.

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