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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS - Southern Tier

State association names Thomas vice president

MAYVILLE -- Chautauqua County Executive Mark Thomas has been unanimously elected first vice president of the State Association of Counties board of directors.

Thomas will serve as a member of the board's Executive Committee in the coming year, working on an agenda that will be highlighted by more Medicaid reform initiatives.

Thomas will serve with Rocco DiVeronica, who was elected board president, and R. Shawn Gray, who was named president-elect. DiVeronica is the chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors, and Gray is a St. Lawrence County supervisor.

The elections were last week at the group's fall conference.

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$49,000 grant to aid village growth effort

LITTLE VALLEY -- Cattaraugus County's efforts to encourage growth in its villages helped it obtain a $49,000 Quality Communities Grant for 2005-06.

The money will pay for consulting services for village officials in Randolph, Little Valley and Franklinville. Under the county's strategy, a link between villages, trails and housing will attract development to the village infrastructure on major highways. The county's "Saving Our Villages" guidebook recommends an aggressive strategy to support village renewal and prevent sprawl over the area's farmlands.

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JCC board to discuss dental hygiene program

OLEAN -- Jamestown Community College board of trustees will hear from the Finance Committee on a resolution for a dental hygiene program fee during today's 3 p.m. session in the College Center Board Room of the Cattaraugus County campus in Olean.

Two more resolutions on the board's agenda are selection of a design team for the Phase III and Phase IV long-range facilities plan and a request to the State University of New York chancellor to add the director of external resources position to the civil service exempt list.

The meeting, which also can be viewed in a videoconference connection in the Hamilton College Center and North County Training Center, will be followed by meetings of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee.

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Meeting to set stage for agricultural plan

LITTLE VALLEY -- Farmers, representatives of local agricultural groups and members of the agribusiness community are invited to help create the first Cattaraugus County agricultural and farmland protection plan.

A first informational meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Post 659, American Legion, 6500 Maples Road, Ellicottville.

County consultant Phil
Gottwals of Agricultural and Community Development Services of Columbia, Md., will talk about the benefits of a plan. A $50,000 grant from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets has been awarded to the county for its development. In a series of planning sessions, participants will be guided by Gottwals to reach a consensus on the plan.

To participate, call Margaret Puszcz at 938-9111, Ext. 2312.

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