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The City Council vote Wednesday to donate $2,000 to the Cattaraugus County Living Arts Association was not unanimous because Councilwoman Lana Riley refused to vote.

The group operates Ray Evans Seneca Theater on Main Street and in the past has received financial assistance from the city.

Mrs. Riley said an agreement several years ago provided $2,000 and called for the group to show the City Council annual financial statements and to pay 10 percent of the annual land lease payment to the Seneca Nation of Indians.

"It was a one-time shot," she said. "We don't want to give them money if they can hold fund raisers."

In a letter requesting the money, former Mayor Jerry Lockwood, a director of the theater group, said "fund-raising events can no longer meet some major repairs needed at this time."

Mayor Carmen Vecchiarella, resolution sponsor, said repairs include new stage curtains and the roof.

The resolution requires the theater group to use the money to promote the city, which owns the building converted from a flooded movie theater.

The theater promotes the city by keeping it open, said City Attorney Ross Peters.

A recent summer program for children included a theater workshop and final stage performances. The theater will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year.

"Although I'm not happy with the way the administration (of the theater) runs things," said Alderman James Mongillo, "I think we can spare $2,000 to keep it on track. It's a one time thing."

Four aldermen voted to provide the money for the theater.

The Council also:

Approved a sales tax exemption from Jan. 17-24 on clothing and footwear purchases in the city under $500.

Approved seeking bids for alterations in City Hall to add a suite of four offices. Bids will be opened Sept. 17, and bidding documents can be obtained from the city clerk.

Took the final step to begin the process to bond for $80,000 for two new 8,000 gallon gas tanks. The cost includes purchase price and installation from the Pump Doctor in Eden.

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