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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>October storm's cleanup to cost about $1 million

BATAVIA -- The cost of the cleanup from the October snowstorm will be close to $1 million, according to city and Genesee County officials.

B. Leonard Walker, the city's superintendent of public works, said Friday that he has billed the Federal Emergency Management Agency for $150,000 in storm-related damage and expects at least another $75,000 in costs to be counted.

Genesee County's Highway Superintendent Timothy J. Hens put the cost to date at $750,000 or more, and the cleanup is still not complete.

In the city, Department of Public Works crews spearheaded the weeks of cleanup of downed limbs and trees, assisted by some outside contractors. The county contracted for pickups in all 13 towns, but not the city.

Federal and state disaster aid is expected to cover most, if not all, the expense, officials said.

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>Drug education program awarded $16,000 grant

LITTLE VALLEY -- The Community-Oriented Drug Education program of the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office has been awarded a $16,000 state grant, State Sen. Catharine Young, R-Olean, announced.
The program helps educate youth in the dangers of substance abuse and holds sessions to build character and self-esteem in schools and at special events, such as the county fair.

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>Mayor's vetoes restore $350,000 to '07 budget

JAMESTOWN -- Mayor Sam Teresi has returned about $350,000 to the 2007 budget through three vetoes.

Teresi confirmed he vetoed amendments made to the $29.9 million spending plan by the City Council, which has until next Friday to override Teresi's actions.

Teresi said he restored an additional $150,000 eliminated from the accumulated fund balance and $50,000 taken from the yearly contingency account. He also put back what he called an "arbitrary" $150,000 cut in the employees' health care fund.
"If we truly want to cut taxes, we have no choice but to cut services and its related spending," he said.
The mayor said the changes will reduce the Council's tax rate decrease of 23.5 cents per $1,000 to about 20 cents.

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>Veterans Services chief to discuss benefits

OLEAN -- Veterans will have a chance to discuss benefits, health care or other topics with John B. Sampson, director of Cattaraugus County Veterans Services, from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday in the Randolph Post, American Legion, and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in the Franklinville town clerk's office.

He is also available from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 5 p.m. weekdays in his Olean office in the County Building, Suite 6510, 1 Leo Moss Drive; or from 1 to 3:30 p.m. each Thursday in the Little Valley County Office Building, with the exception of the third Thursday of the month.

For information, call Sampson at 373-8010, Ext. 3298.

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