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Rep. Lynn Dixon weighs in on budget

The following guest column was submitted by Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon.

Well, it was another terrific Western New York summer. Although the weather sometimes provided obstacles, the festivals, lawn fetes, barbecues, concerts and other summer activities carried on, to the delight of everyone. The Erie County Fair boasted record attendance and made for a great summer curtain call.

Summer is also the peak season for roadwork, in Erie County. With 1,200 lane miles and numerous bridges, there is plenty to maintain. Since first taking office, while working with two administrations, I have continuously advocated for a greater commitment to repairing our aging infrastructure. Currently, there is revenue available, as well as a dedicated funding source to address those needs, but the current administration has opted not to allocate a portion of the available funds, during this construction cycle. I disagree with the decision and have requested that available funds be applied to road work, as soon as possible. As you know, it is a public safety, liability and economic development issue.

In Erie County government, fall is synonymous with budget time. The county executive will first submit his proposed budget to the Erie County Legislature, which historically has been received at the beginning of October. The legislature then reviews the budget and holds discussions, before we vote on any amendments, to create the final budget. In addition to the work done by your legislature, a public hearing is scheduled, to give residents an opportunity to comment. While finalizing the 2013 budget, I worked with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to cut millions in spending and eliminate a proposed tax increase, to create a budget that didn’t raise property taxes.

I will also be announcing HEAP outreaches, in the near future, to help you prepare for what we hope will be a mild winter. At these outreaches, residents who are eligible for aid can receive assistance with the HEAP application process.

Anyone with questions about county issues is encouraged to contact me at my legislative office at 858-8671 or email lynne.dixon@erie.gov. You can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/legislatorlynnedixon and information is available on my website at www.erie.gov/legislature/district09.


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