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Erie County bailing out Town of Evans with $1M loan

Town of Evans

The financial roof has fallen in on the Town of Evans, without money to pay bills and desperately borrowing to meet payroll. The Erie County Legislature Thursday afternoon voted a legal change to allow Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw to loan $1 million to ease the fiscal mess. State Comptroller Spokesperson Brian Butry says state auditors have been warning for years the fiscal picture was bad and getting worse, but nothing was done.

"There have been a number of warning signs over the course of the past four years and it's been incumbent upon town officials to take action on this and it appears they have not done so," Butry says.

Legislature Chairman John Mills says the town board has not been raising taxes to pay the employee wages and benefits the town bargained. He says the proposed budget for next year also contained a 14 percent tax hike.

"Which is unbelievable, but they needed dollars," Mills says. "Someone wasn't watching the store, so to speak, and they got into a situation where their payroll and their benefit packages were too much for what they were raising and they were raising maybe raising 3-5 percent a year when they needed to do something like 7-9 percent year."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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