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SOME RELIEF ON MEDICAID COMING FROM WASHINGTON

Allegany County legislators learned Tuesday the county is in line for some Medicaid relief.

County Administrator John E. Margeson and Legislator Edmund C. Burdick, R-New Hudson, told the Legislature of a one-time $889,000 federal windfall.

The money, said Margeson, comes through a federal budget appropriation to municipalities specifically to help defray Medicaid costs.

The money will be distributed over the next five fiscal quarters, retroactive to April, he said. He said the county will receive about $166,000 per quarter through the period.

Burdick said he and others had lobbied in Washington for that revenue-sharing provision.

The New York State Association of Counties is continuing to lobby Gov. George E. Pataki for a share of a $700 million special federal aid package heading for the state, said Burdick.

That money was originally intended for a 60-40 split, with 40 percent earmarked for localities, he said.

But that division changed at the last moment, said Burdick, and the whole $700 million goes to Albany.

Margeson said the $889,000 in one-shot assistance represents a 2.9 percent increase in federal participation in Medicaid for the county.

In other business Tuesday, the Legislature:

Authorized the Health Department to spend $21,000 to buy four leased cars it had planned to turn back to the dealer for new leased cars.

Burdick led a fight at the last meeting to void that deal, saying the cars had low mileage and could be economically added to the county's fleet of owned vehicles.

The cars will be purchased from Preston Auto Truck Center Inc. in Wellsville. They are used by public health nurses in making their rounds.

Authorized application for $145,000 from the state to fund half the cost of the county's recycling program for the next two years.

The resolution adopted unanimously said the state Municipal Waste Reduction and Recycling Program money would pay half the coordinator's salary for three years and pay for half of the educational expenses incurred in support of recycling in the county.

Backed a loan application from the county's public benefit corporation to build a new headquarters in Belmont.

Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development Inc. has said it wants to centralize its program and administration offices.

It is applying for an Agriculture Department Rural Development Facilities loan to build on its current headquarters site along the Genesee River.

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