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Collins wants more cash for fuel

An Erie County Legislature committee on Tuesday delayed action on a few items that County Executive Chris Collins considers important.

So Collins will ask Legislature Chairwoman Lynn M. Marinelli to call a special session of the full Legislature to approve them.

For one, Collins wants lawmakers to approve the budget transfer that will let the county executive pour another $600,000 into fuel purchases to keep government vehicles running until the end of the year. The high price of gas drained the fuel budget earlier than expected.

Lawmakers on the Government Affairs Committee tabled action on his request Tuesday until Collins and his county attorney, Cheryl A. Green, could verify the money could come from cash recently collected to settle a lawsuit.

Collins also wants lawmakers to formally accept the approximately $650,000 the state-appointed control board is willing to provide so that Collins can continue with his Six Sigma program in 2009 and continue paying the space utilization director who is helping consolidate county offices.

Marinelli on Wednesday said Collins need not worry.

The Government Affairs Committee intended to reconvene Tuesday to act on his requests. She said the full Legislature can then approve the items when it meets later next week to receive Collins' budget proposal for 2009 and hand it off to the Finance, Management and Budget Committee for review.

"Mr. Collins will be quick to call a news conference," Marinelli said. "But I think his aides will tell him we are keeping them fully informed about how these things are moving through the Legislature."


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