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Erie County Republican Lawmakers Want New Parks Deal

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Erie County Republican lawmakers say county parks are suffering because the parks agreement with Buffalo is spreading resources too thin. The minority caucus Monday called for the parks contract to be renegotiated or terminated all together.

The three lawmakers said the deal was supposed to be revenue neutral, but is actually costing county taxpayers an extra $1.2 million each year. And they said there is not enough to adequately maintain county parks. Minority leader John Mills said there is support for preserving at least the Olmsted portion of the agreement.

Mills said one option would be for Buffalo to hire parks workers to maintain the city's non-Olmsted park areas. The county would need to give one year's notice to either renegotiate or cancel the contract.

Mills said the County Executive supports the idea of renegotiating the contract. However, it is less certain there is enough support among legislature Democrats to either bring the measure to the floor for a vote or to approve it.

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