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LAWMAKERS HOLD MEETING AT FAIRGROUNDS

If you'd turned left at the funnel cake stand and headed for the goat barn, you would have found Chautauqua County Legislature meeting Wednesday.

The Legislature, for the first time in six years, held its July meeting at the County Fairgrounds during the annual fair.

And the meeting went off without a hitch, according to Legislature Chairman Keith D. Ahlstrom, D-Dunkirk.

"In speaking to legislators who were here six years ago, the sound system worked great and everyone could hear what was going on. I think it was a very enjoyable, and I think we'll try to make this an annual occurrence."

The Legislature passed a resolution to create an account for state and federal funds designated for a new Emergency Services Center. It's expected to cost $3.7 million to build and would be available for all county fire departments for training and storing fire equipment.

Emergency Services Director Julius Leone said he hopes having an account would help attract federal Homeland Security funding. While there are no official plans to begin building the center, Leone said the resolution, "helps move things along."

But Legislator Ron Szot, D-Dunkirk, was not happy with creating the new fund.

"Without knowing what our plan is for the short- or long-term, I'm just afraid we're going to fund the money without a long-range plan."

Leone said they have already met twice with Rep. Jack F. Quinn, R-Hamburg, to discuss funding sources.

The Legislature also approved a lease with BJB Corp. to store hazardous materials equipment at 1862 Delaware Ave., Falconer, for $1,584 a month. The county had been storing the equipment at the Falconer Industrial Center for $1 a year. However the landlord is terminating that lease Aug. 31. The county will pay for the lease out of the contingency account.

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