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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>Employee union seeks public support on pact

BATAVIA -- Genesee County's largest employee union is seeking public support to end a 2-year-old contract stalemate.

The County Legislature had rejected a fact-finder's recommendations over the dispute with Local 819, Civil Service Employees Association, which represents nearly half the county's work force. A proposed four-year contract, drafted more than a year ago, calls for annual pay raises of 2 to 3 percent and employees sharing more of the health care costs. The pact covers about 350 workers.

Meanwhile, union signs are springing up in area yards. One sign reads, "We Support Our CSEA for Contract Now."

County Manager Jay A. Gsell said negotiations have resumed and he believes a contract retroactive to last January could be signed as early as the new year.

Meanwhile, a smaller CSEA unit, representing 160 employees of the county's nursing home, will vote today on a proposal.

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>Stray cat problem addressed in budget

DUNKIRK -- Stray cats captured the attention of city residents and the local humane society at Tuesday's Dunkirk City Council meeting.

Frances Price sent the Council a letter on behalf of the Lake Shore Humane Society commending the board for supporting a spaying and neutering program for stray cats in its 2007 budget.

The Council put $3,000 for the program in the new spending plan and will begin to address issues concerning homeless cats and the over-population of stray animals in city neighborhoods.

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>Comprehensive plan in line for updating

FREDONIA -- Fredonia Trustee Susan Mackay hopes to schedule a public information meeting for February on an update of the village's comprehensive plan.

During a meeting of the Planning Board Tuesday night in Village Hall, Mackay -- the Village Board's liaison to the Planning Board -- said the document was last updated in 1993. She said in the future, trustees envision revisiting the document every five years.

The Planning Board is responsible for working on the update, which would be submitted to the Village Board for final approval.

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>Health Care System gets $270,000 from state

OLEAN -- Southern Tier Health Care System received $270,000 from the state Health Department's Office of Rural Health to continue its mission of "improving the wellness" of residents in Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties.

The organization helped Olean General Hospital obtain a Sole Community Hospital designation and aided in requesting that Allegany and Cattaraugus counties be designated as low-income dental-health-professional shortage areas.

The organization is waiting to hear if its request has been granted to name Cattaraugus County a mental-health-professional shortage area.

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