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The Allegany County Legislature on Monday adopted an $89.3 million budget for 2005.

County Administrator John E. Margeson, who is also the budget officer, said the budget raises property taxes by 6.2 percent over the 2004 levy.

It calls for raising $1.93 million more from property taxes in 2005 than in 2004.

The current budget, in effect by default when the Legislature chose not to adopt a budget in December, called for $18.4 million in property taxes.

Appropriations will be about $6.4 million higher than this year, according to the budget.

Three legislators voted against the budget.

Legislator Robert K. Sobeck, R-Wellsville, a retired sheriff's deputy, said he opposed the budget because "one department has not been touched" by cost or personnel reductions -- the Sheriff's Department.

That department, said Legislator Daniel Russo, R-Wellsville, "should make sacrifices like every other department."

The Sheriff's Department, "one of the largest in the county," has sailed through the cost-cutting process unscathed, he said.

Sobeck said he had asked several times to have fund requests further explained by Sheriff Randal J. Belmont or someone from his office, "and they never came back."

Legislator James A. Graffrath, R-Andover, joined Sobeck and Russo in opposing the budget, which passed in an 11-3 vote.

In other business, the Legislature:

Scheduled public hearings on two proposed local laws.

One would establish the county Planning Board at 11 members and set their terms of office, and the other would offer partial property tax exemptions to limited-income people 65 and older.

Those hearings will precede the next Legislature meeting Dec. 13.

Tabled resolutions setting salaries for county officers, dropping an accounting job and creating a fiscal officer's job in the Public Works Department and dropping a clerk's job in the department and establishing a superintendent's secretary's position in Public Works.

Created a position of assistant community services director, paying $48,000 per year, and dropped a position of intensive-case manager in that department.

Heard a presentation from Office for the Aging Director Kimberly Toot on the United Way of Allegany County and the agencies it serves.

She asked the legislators to contribute, adding that one of every three people in the county is served by at least one of the 25 organizations that receive United Way funding.

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