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Aldermen are in favor of donating $3,000 in city funds toward the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce's new holiday lights.

The lights will be displayed in Lincoln Park with other seasonal decorations, including several new animated figures the Chamber plans to lease, to be lit at the close of the annual Santa Claus Lane Parade on Nov. 28, the day following Thanksgiving.

The discussion of the Chamber group's plan for its 30-day Santa Claus Lane Celebration was held during a committee meeting Tuesday night. Mayor James P. Griffin suggested the Council donate $3,000.

"You've got to look at how we make our revenue," said Griffin, pointing to the event as a way to boost the city's sale tax revenues.

Chamber members who presented the idea to the committee said tentative plans are to eliminate fireworks and reverse the direction of the parade from north to south, beginning at the Olean Center Mall and ending at Lincoln Park.

The group has mounted a Santa Claus Lane fund-raising campaign to pay for the improvements to the traditional community celebration through the sale of gift items, contests and drawings.

Aldermen voted unanimously to move the request out of committee. Formal action to appropriate the donation money from the contingency funds will be taken at a future session of the Olean Common Council.

Aldermen also signaled support for the purchase of a used Olympia ice resurfacer at a cost of $37,000 to replace a Zamboni machine recommended for retirement from service.

Griffin said he learned of the Olympia's availability late last week from the manufacturer. The machine has logged only 3,000 hours and will come with an one year warranty, he said.

In stating his support for the purchase, Alderman Gary "Casey" Jones reminded the committee that some ice skating rink patrons complained in the past about the condition of the ice and others have stated a willingness to donate money.

Aldermen agreed the Council should pay for the amount not covered by donations, which are to be collected by the mayor. The Council is expected to make a formal decision on the matter at a later date.

In another matter, the city operations committee directed the mayor to appoint a subcommittee to review changes in the zoning ordinance. Community Development Director Richard Sauer and Alderman Robert Sader will meet to discuss a list of pending revisions. Alderman Jones will also take part in those discussions, along with other members yet to be appointed.

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