Cortland County Lawmakers Approve Tentative Budget, Includes $152k in Added Spending
Cortland County lawmakers have accepted the legislature’s budget committee changes to 2014 County budget. The revised budget calls for over $123 million in spending next year.
In a special meeting last night with several members absent county lawmakers adopted the amended budget, which includes over $152 thousand in funding restorations.
One of the biggest cuts that were restored was nearly $90 thousand dollars for county run senior Centers. While the funds will be put back to maintain the current hours at the centers, paid aid positions that help set-up and run the centers have not been put back in the budget. That prompted some lawmakers like Republican Dave Fuller to question how the centers will function if volunteers don’t step forward to fill the duties currently performed by the paid aide’s.
Democrat John Troy said he is not happy with how the additional spending is being paid for, lawmakers have agreed to take the money out of the counties fund balance which is like the county’s savings account. Troy says these are reoccurring expenses and should not be funded with one time revenue. Troy did admit that he has looked at the budget and has found little room to make cuts to offset the increase in spending.
Democrat Tony Pace who heads up the Budget Committee says the group has thoroughly reviewed the County Administrators budget and feels that the revised spending plan is responsible. Pace is in favor of using the fund balance to cover the added costs and feels that the county should not be sitting on money instead it should be providing services and keeping taxes down when possible.
The budget now heads to a public hearing on December 5th; lawmakers expect to vote on the final budget adoption on December 12th or December 17th.