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AFTER TWO YEARS OF WORK, OFFICIALS ARE READY FOR Y2K

With the exception of a possible minor glitch or two, Chautauqua County officials say they are "Y2K ready."

Ellen Ditonto, director of Information Systems, noted the county has been working for nearly two years on getting its data, information and computer systems updated as the calendar turns over to the year 2000.

"Certainly, our mission-critical systems are ready to go. Our E-911 (was) tied into our computer-aided dispatch, which controls the Sheriff's Department and most of Chautauqua County's dispatches . . . except Jamestown," she said. "We feel that we are ready. We have done all that is reasonably possible to test the systems and to ensure that we have adequate backups."

County Executive Mark W. Thomas said he will be in Mayville on New Year's Eve, as will Sheriff Joseph Gerace -- just in case. But he said he feels the county and the rest of the country are pretty well set.

"I think we'll find that uniformly around this country, at least, that's what my anticipation is. I think there (are) some other countries in the world that don't have the resources we've had or the length of time that we've had to prepare for these kinds of eventualities," said Thomas.

The biggest potential problem, according to Ditonto, is a major power outage caused by a winter storm. She said the county has worked with local utilities to have plans in place.

Former Assistant Jamestown Fire Chief Richard Pollaro has served as the county's Y2K coordinator. Ditonto said he has worked with towns and villages to update their disaster plans in case problems arise. His biggest task, she concluded, has been working on contingency plans.

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