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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Budget again calls for decrease in tax rate

LAKEWOOD -- For the second straight year, Lakewood residents may see a tax rate decrease.

Mayor Tony Caprino said the nearly $2.8 million proposal for 2006-2007 is about $25,000 higher than this year's budget, but the tax levy is down nearly $19,000.

Caprino said it's probably the tightest budget he has ever proposed. The increases are due to health insurance and utility costs going up and a 3.5 percent salary increase for village employees.

The tax rate decrease will be close to 21 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

Village Board members received copies of the budget Monday night. A public hearing is tentatively set April 10. The final budget must be in place by May 1.

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>Community meeting will focus on tourism

FRANKLINVILLE -- Franklinville's leaders seem prepared for the slow rebirth that will revive what has become a bedroom community on busy north-south Route 16.

The Franklinville Area Chamber of Commerce, the sponsor of many of the recent activities, will invite comments at 7 p.m. todayon the progress of Franklinville's tourism thrust and will seek suggestions for future pursuits. The meeting will be held in the high school auditorium of Ten Broeck Academy.

Town Supervisor David Dickinson will talk about growth in the town's property assessment in recent years. He will be joined by Village Mayor Judy Harrington in a report on efforts to combine government offices in an updated and expanded Morgan Hall on Park Square.

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>Bartimole named chairman of Broadband Task Force

SALAMANCA -- John E. Bartimole, chief executive officer of the Southern Tier Health Care System, has been chosen as chairman of the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board's Cattaraugus County Broadband Development Task Force.

Similar task forces are being formed in Allegany and Chautauqua Counties.

The groups will pursue research, planning, education, legislative action and other efforts to secure communications technology for the largely rural region. Broadband is expected to support patient services and reduce operational costs to the health care industry and the region's economy.

Southern Tier West is seeking volunteers to work with the agency's staff on the task forces.

To volunteer or get more information, call Richard Zink at Southern Tier West at 945-5301 or send an e-mail to rzink@southerntierwest.org.

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