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Erie County lawmakers postpone vote on cultural grants

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By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Erie County legislators are not immediately supporting County Executive Chris Collins' plan to award $300,000 in capital grants to some cultural groups.

Lawmakers held off Thursday on voting on the proposal to distribute the money to 13 groups. The item was instead sent to the Enrichment committee, which will hear from the groups on Monday.

Lawmakers said they have questions about how the groups were chosen. They complained of not learning about the grants until they were announced by Collins earlier this week.

The money can only be used for capital building projects, not for operations. Collins previously cut off operating funds for all but 10 of the largest cultural groups.

Many in the cultural community criticized Collins for the capital grants. They said the County Executive is making a last minute effort to dangle money in front of groups right before the election.