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The Manufacturers Association is joining area and state lawmakers in urging the governor to sign legislation creating a Southern Tier rail authority.

Todd Tranum, association executive director, said the organization sent a letter to Gov. George E. Pataki last month and is awaiting a reply. Tranum noted the association explained how important rail service is local industries.

"The benefits of having a rail line here (will help) in terms of developing our community, bringing in new manufacturing, and allowing the manufacturers that we currently have here to expand and to grow," he said. "I think it's critical that we have a rail line that serves this community."

Last week, Chautauqua County Executive Mark Thomas and several other elected officials from Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben counties wrote Pataki, requesting the measure to be signed.

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