LITTLE VALLEY - Cattaraugus County lawmakers unanimously approved a $218.5 million budget for 2013 recently.
The budget, a $5.1 million increase over the 2012 county budget, carries a $51,033,738 tax levy. The increase from the 2012 tax levy of $49.4 million falls under the state's 2 percent tax cap.
The only public comment during the meeting came from Marjorie Webster, a registered nurse at the Cattaraugus County Department of Nursing Homes, who asked the legislature to reconsider the Jan. 1 elimination of the MDS position.
A motion to remove funding for the county Department of Motor Vehicles was defeated. Another motion to reconsider elimination of the MDS position was also defeated.
After the vote on the motions, the budget was unanimously approved by legislators.
The legislature also approved an extension of its contract with Motorola to make the county compliant with the Federal Communications Commission's requirement that counties have narrow-band radio in place by Jan. 1.
Legislators also approved an $18,800 contract with Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development Corporation of Belmont for to administer the county's Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention project in an effort to reduce teen pregnancy rates in Cattaraugus County. The county Health Department will expand hours at its Salamanca clinic two or three additional hours a week. The contract allows the county to stop the program if state or federal funding is cut.
An agreement with the Chautauqua County Health Department for lead risk assessment work was also unanimously approved. The work will cost $30 an hour and work-related mileage, at a total cost not exceeding $3,000, to be paid as invoiced. The program is state-funded.
Legislators also approved a resolution asking the federal government to stabilize funding for the West Valley Demonstration Project.
The House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for 2013 provides $50 million toward the clean-up effort, a $25 million cut from previous years. Legislators are asking the federal government to reconsider the cut, arguing the loss of money will only lengthen the project.
Cattaraugus County officials say the cuts will double the amount of time necessary to decommission the facility and add $200 million to the project's total cost.
Legislators want the federal government to restore the project's funding to $75 million and commit to keep that funding in place for 10 years to complete all of the first phase work.
The resolution has been forwarded to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Sen. Catharine Young, state Assemblyman Joe Giglio and others.