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Giambra Says County Spending Down $9 Million

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Executive Joel Giambra painted a bright picture of the county's fiscal situation Monday. He says it's possible the county could end 2006 with its second surplus in as many years.

Giambra released a budget monitoring report for the first three months of 2006 that shows county spending was $9 million under projections.

"There were about $6 million in savings by not filling jobs that were funded and authorized in the budget," Giambra said. "We're watching very closely who we're hiring and if they're really needed."

But County Comptroller Mark Poloncarz warned against talk of a surplus, saying it's premature. Poloncarz says unanticipated events such as a drop in sales tax revenue or a sudden increase in costs could affect the county's bottom line this year.