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‘02 update for legislators

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Utah legislators were assured Thursday that preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics are going as planned — and even better in some areas.

The State Olympic Coordination Committee, made up of 12 Utah legislators who review and make recommendations on issues relating to the Olympics, heard updates concerning the budget and public safety for Salt Lake City's upcoming Olympics.

Fraser Bullock, chief financial officer for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, told legislators the overall budget gap for the Olympics has dropped from $400 million in early 1999 to less than $57 million today. That gap refers to the difference between the overall budget and the revenue forecast.

"We're confident we will break even," he said. "We'll keep going all the way through to raise as much money as we can."

Bullock said SLOC is hoping to not to have to borrow money, and the outlook is good.

Also looking good are plans for public safety during the Olympics.

Utah Olympic Public Safety Officer David Tubbs told legislators that 28 Utah law enforcement agencies have stepped forward to help with public safety during the Olympics.

"We've got a very professional working relationship among everyone involved," he said.

E-mail: lculler@desnews.com