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Horrigan says spending plan he proposes will be within 2-percent property tax cap...

Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan will present his first budget proposal at next Wednesday night's county legislature meeting.  Horrigan this weekend is revealing a little more about the approximately $240-million spending plan.  The Bemus Point Republican says in a statement issued late Friday that "by using our available fund balance... it will keep the 2015 budget under the property tax cap to provide relief to our County taxpayers."  That fund balance is being helped this year by the sale of the County Home in Dunkirk to VestraCare of Long Island... which is expected to close on the 16-million dollar sale by the end of the year.  Horrigan calls the proposed budget one of the most "important responsibilities" he has.  He says it focuses on "investing in an offensive economic development strategy, protecting our watersheds, coordinating health care and substance abuse initiatives, privatizing the County Home, and implementing cost containment resources to target welfare fraud and rising public defender costs."  Next Wednesday's meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.  Lawmakers must approve a budget by December 1st.

Gerace details proposed 2015 spending...

Salary hikes and an increase in the Chautauqua County Jail population is driving a just over 4-percent increase in the Sheriff's Department budget.  That from Sheriff Joe Gerace... who outlined his proposed spending in the 2015 budget for county lawmakers this week.  Gerace addressed the legislature's Public Safety Committee... and, says the biggest part of the 4.1-percent increase is salary hikes built into union contracts.  Gerace adds the other big cost for his department is operation of the County Jail in Mayville... which has been filled to capacity more than a few times in the past several months.  He says that's forced him to cut projected 2015 revenues because they won't likely be able to house as many federal inmates as in the past.  The county gets a set reimbursement for housing those prisoners.  In fact... they've had so many local inmates -- due mainly to the opiate drug crisis -- they've had to send some to neighboring counties.

Miller says work on Ellicott Budget begins this coming week...

Work will begin next week on preparing the town of Ellicott's 2015 budget... which will be the final one for town Supervisor Cecil Miller.  Miller announced earlier this week that he is resigning from the town's top-elected position next December 31st after seven years.  He says budget's have been challenging with increasing health and pension costs in recent years... but, add this will be a "particularily difficult" spending plan because they have to pay off sick time for some retirees.  Miller adds that while the state pension contribution rate is going down in 2015... that doesn't mean their costs will go down much -- if at all.  Miller adds that he already has a likely successor in mind.  It's a current member of the town board who has not been identified at this point.  He says he and that person will soon sit down and begin going over budget plans from town department heads... and, try to work out a budget that's under the state's 2-percent property tax cap.

NY Business Council hears from Cuomo...

Governor Andrew Cuomo says New York state should use some of its budget surplus to spur upstate economic development... and, encourage local governments to consolidate and share their services.  The Democrat told the Business Council of New York Friday that he wants to use $1.5-billion on local economic development programs similar to his administration's current ``Buffalo Billion'' initiative.  Cuomo also proposed using 500-million dollars to help local governments that consolidate or share services in an effort to reduce property taxes.  State officials announced last month that the state has a $4.2-billion surplus, thanks largely to sizeable legal settlements with banks and insurance companies.

Two hurt in one-car crash in town of Poland...

Two men are being treated for non-life threatening injuries the the car they were riding in swerved to avoid a deer... and, the vehicle slammed into a culvert late Thursday night in the town of Poland.  Sheriff's Deputies say 22 year-old Jeremy Zimmerman, of Salamanca, was westbound on Route 394 about 11:40 p.m. when the deer crossed in front of his vehicle.  Officers say Zimmerman's car went into a ditch and struck a the culvert -- heavily damaging the vehicle.  Both Zimmerman and his passenger... Fallan Robert of Gerry... were able to get out of the vehicle safely following the crash.  They were treated at the scene... and, taken to WCA Hospital for further treatment of their injuries.

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