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NEWS IN BRIEF

Budget struggles in Genesee County

BATAVIA -- Genesee County legislators continue to wrestle with a tentative $68.5 million spending plan for 2003, but the chances of a 6 percent property tax increase being reduced depend on spending reductions, which, one official said, "won't be easy."

A public hearing on the budget was held Tuesday, but only two spokesmen complained about cuts in appropriations for next year. That's an unusually small turnout for the prospect of raising the property levy from $8.78 to $9.34 per $1,000 assessed valuation. After eight years of no tax increase, the levy was also boosted last year.

County manager Jay A. Gsell blames an 11 percent increase in the county's general fund from $16.5 million to $18.5 million on mandated state programs, principally Medicaid.

County lawmakers continue to study the budget. It must be passed by Dec. 20.

Tour will benefit Keller Opera House

CUBA -- The first Historic Cuba Victorian Christmas tour will take place from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14.

A benefit for the historic Keller Opera House, the tour will take visitors down the Victorian homes listed in the National Register of Historic Places on South Street, where they will get a chance to see the homes' unique architectural furnishings.

Tickets for the tour, which are limited, cost $5 for adults. Children under 12 are free. For information, call Arts West Gallery at (585) 968-2068, or visit www.artswestgallery.com/victoriantour.
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Holland choir plans a holiday musical

The Holland Community Choir is putting the finishing touches on its upcoming musical, "A Christmas Celebration."

It will be presented in Covenant Community Church, 10039 Savage Road, Holland, at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. Tickets are free, but are required for the performances. They are available at Holland Hardware or by calling 655-0578.

Board rejects Dunkirk teachers pact

DUNKIRK -- The Board of Education voted, 5-2, Tuesday to reject a proposed three-year contract with the Dunkirk Teachers Association.

Board President Robert Barlette and board member Linda Guy cast the only affirmative votes. Vice President Roosevelt Haynes, Clerk Nancy Nichols and board members Rose Floramo, Nancy Renckens and Robert Patterson voted against it.

The contract, which would have been retroactive to July 1, would have expired June 30, 2005. It would have provided increases of 1.96 percent this year, 2.66 percent next year and 2.70 percent in the final year.

With talks at an impasse, the Public Employment Relations Board will try to help find a resolution, the board said.

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