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Erie County Control Board Waiting for Lawmakers to Act

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority is taking a wait-and-see approach to some big ticket items facing county finances.

The board met Monday and approved a finacial consultant, bond council and several contracts for Erie Community College. But they took no action on the county executive's proposed billion dollar plus budget for 2008, or the four-year plan.

Robert Glazer is acting chairman of the board. He said they will continue to crunch the numbers and wait for the legislature's decision to have the control board do capital borrowing. The legislature and the control board both meet separately on Thursday.

Without the request, the multi-million dollar tax lien sale is in jeopardy. That would blow a hole in the 2007 budget. So could seven million dollars the county executive recently committed to demolish the old Memorial Auditorium.

Board members spoke favorably of the plan that would move along Bass Pro and waterfront development. But Control Board member Ken Kruly said they might not have any say in the matter anyhow if there is a pre-existing contract.

The Control Board said they would want to see deatils. But in general, they have no problem with the county helping to fund a regional project - even if the city does not kick in the other half as originally pledged.

The Control Board also sees no harm in the Buffalo Bills playing a couple of games in Toronto. Board members said it would save the county some of the roughly four million dollars a year it has to pay for game day expenses.

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