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Mayor says high gas prices may cut services

The sudden spike in gasoline prices might bust the village budget and force officials to cut some services, Mayor Frank Pagano warned Monday.

During a work session before Monday's regular Village Board meeting, Pagano said the increase of nearly $1 a gallon poses a problem.

"We use about 3,000 gallons per month in the village," he said. "This is $3,000 a month over budget. Never in a million years could we have expected gas prices to go as high are they are now."

He said he has encouraged all department heads to conserve gasoline in any way possible. He added the board will have to take fuel costs into account in budget talks that will start in the next few months.

"We may have to determine in this next budget whether we can still afford to continue to plow snow from village sidewalks or pick up brush as much as we do now," he said.

In another matter, Pagano said he will testify in Albany later this month before the State Liquor Authority on problems involving underage drinkers and disruptive drinkers on village streets. He said his testimony will include suggestions form Fredonia State College.

"I hope out of this testimony, some modern-day reforms will result," he said.

The mayor also said he and Police Chief Bradley Meyers regularly meet with college officials.

Meyers said he has resumed undercover "sting" operations on village streets to arrest underage drinkers and/or disorderly people. Two uniformed police officers also patrol the streets regularly looking for disruptive house parties.

Pagano, Meyers and Village Attorney Sam Drayo are examining ordinances that might be updated to deal with the issue.

Also Monday, Susan Mackay, a Village Board member, proposed stipends for the 10 members of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. She described the practice as common in other communities.

The board discussed stipends of $400 per year, but took no vote.

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