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Funding for a five-week series of Buffalo-area radio ads to promote holiday shopping in Ellicottville and Cattaraugus County will be addressed tonight in an emergency session of the County Legislature's Development and Agriculture Committee.

The committee holds the purse strings for appropriation of the $27,000 cost out of the county Tourism Promotion Agency's 2002 budget. The Tourism Promotion Agency's board of directors voted to ask the committee for the funds, along with a $3,000 request to conduct tourism promotion workshops to groups around the county at its meeting Thursday.

Committee Chairman E. James Ellis, R-Cattaraugus, said Sunday night that he is sure at least four the committee's seven members will provide a quorum for the emergency session, at which a presentation will be made by the agency's president, Simon Griffis, and Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian McFadden. But he did not know how many of the committee's members will support the request.

"Personally, in my own opinion, I would prefer if waited until spring," said Ellis, adding he feels the agency members are rushing the effort before getting participation from other smaller tourism groups.

"They called me Friday morning and wanted to put a big promotion on already. For one thing, the Seneca Nation objected because they hadn't been contacted," he added, pointing to the possibility that other communities with membership in the agency may also be unaware of the move.

The agency board originally hoped to schedule a high-profile media launch in Rochester and Buffalo of the Enchanted Mountain brand on Sept. 16, but the effort did not materialize.

McFadden said the radio launch would be handled with the Intercom Group and $25,300 will pay for 710 60-second radio spots on a number of stations, with two-thirds of the spots promoting attractions around the county and one-third of them focused on Ellicottville.

The ads will promote shopping trips, offering give-away packages donated by local vendors to bring visitors into the area, and will be aired on Wednesdays, Fridays and some Sundays.

The committee will meet at 7 p.m. in the third-floor caucus room in the County Center.

Cattaraugus Correspondent Donna Snyder contributed to this article.

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