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Council Suggests Ways of Saving Two Agencies

Buffalo, NY – The Buffalo Common Council is continuing city budget hearings this week.

Tuesday, Council members suggested ways to keep two social service agencies from extinction in the mayor's budget plan. With state reimbursements, lawmakers say the Division of Substance Abuse Services could remain open without city funding through December. The only contribution from the city, according to Majority Leader Rosemarie LoTempio, is in-kind, such as office space.

The Council is also looking into ways to keep the mayor's advocate for the disabled office open. Lovejoy District Council Member Richard Fontana suggested the Council should end the practice of free-parking for the handicapped at metered spaces and use the new revenue to fund the office.

Tuesday evening, the Council heard from students, parents, teachers and administrators about the city's struggling school system. Mayor Masiello's budget cuts the city's share of school funding by $860,000. School officials say the fiscal crisis will result in cuts to arts and sports programs as well as increased class sizes.