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Olean residents may see tax increase as potholes grow

OLEAN – After two years with no increase in their city property taxes, local residents may see a modest rise during the coming year to repair potholes and other damage caused by the cold winter, Mayor William Aiello told the Common Council on Tuesday.

“We do not have a plan of attack other than what we have done in the past,” Aiello said. “There is $150,000 in the road fund for 2013-2014. It has been suggested that we add another $150,000 out of contingency by the aldermen.”

That contingency fund had already seen a decreased level of funding, according to previous discussions of the Council. The additional funds would require an increase in the tax rate for city residents, Aiello said.

“They would like to raise the tax levy ... and put all of that money in road repairs,” he said. “The increase will generate a little over $100,000.”

The road needs also generated dismissal of a plan proposed by Aiello to contract with the Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce to aid in attracting businesses to the city. Council President Ann McLaughlin said she would rather see the funds go into the roads than into such a plan, citing the Cattaraugus County IDA’s recent partnership with a consultant to do the same thing for the county, as a whole.

The proposed plan would have increased the Community Development budget by $15,000.

The Mayor and City Council have until April 14 to approve a budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.