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LOCAL NEWS BRIEFS

>$5.6 million energy plan advances to next committee

OLEAN -- Members of the Olean Common Council's City Operations Committee voted, 4-1, Monday to send a $5.6 million short-term financing proposal on a 15-year energy-performance contract on to the Committee of the Whole for more discussion next week.

Instead of the city's preferred method of acquiring capital under a municipal lease, the nation's tight financial markets have closed that option, and borrowing the money will be necessary to go forward with the phased project.

If the measure passes through the Committee of the Whole, it will then be sent to the Council for a vote.

City Auditor Janet Jones said the project is designed to pay for itself over a 15-year period and advised the aldermen that the city has already spent $500,000 for engineering, design and bid specifications and that money was transferred to the water fund from the general fund. She said if the bond-anticipation note is not approved the city will have to borrow the $500,000.

The contract provides for completion of a list of energy-saving upgrades including some sewer system repairs to eliminate malfunctioning pump stations on Martha Avenue and 15th Street.

But the most visible portion of the contract will cost $2.3 million, to install 6,500 new digital water meters in all the city's homes beginning next month.

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>Gem, fossil show set at Rock City Park

OLEAN -- Rock hounds, treasure hunters and the curious can see vendor displays of specimens from around the world at the Gem-Mineral-Fossil Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday at Rock City Park, 505 Route 16 South.

Rock City Park is home to one of the largest natural displays of quartz conglomerate in the world and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

The park's $4.50 admission charge will apply for the show, as well, and include some group and senior discounts.

Food sales will benefit the Montessori Children's House of Olean.

For more information visit www.rockcitypark.com or call (716) 372-7790.

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