State Senator James Seward visited Cortland Friday morning to announce that the recently adopted 2017-18 New York State budget includes $194,500 for the City of Cortland to help offset additional public safety costs from being a SUNY host community.
“Our SUNY schools are a real asset – educating our future leaders, and helping drive the local economy. However, there is a financial trade-off that goes overlooked. The SUNY Impact Aid funding is genuine mandate relief,” said Senator Seward.
Using a formula that he helped to develop, Senator Seward started the process by instituting a “pilot program” beginning with the 2016-17 state budget and continuing this year. Both the cities of Cortland and Oneonta received $200,000 last year and each will receive $194,500 in the current fiscal year.
Senator Seward points to the community relations work being done by the City of Cortland’s new Community Policing Officer, Jesse Abbott, as an example of the success of this funding. The national COPS program grant covers some of the costs, and Cortland uses the money allocated by Senator Seward to offset the rest of the costs of the program. Community Policing is one of several initiatives designed to enhance public safety and help with the redevelopment of Cortland’s downtown core.
“A downtown community police officer is an inspired use of the SUNY Impact Aid that will have a ripple effect. The outreach program helps boost public safety and enhances economic development, a combination that will certainly equate to growth throughout Cortland,” Seward added.
In a statement provided to X101 News, City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said, “The SUNY Impact Aid is a valuable funding source that, combined with other revenue streams, is helping revitalize Cortland’s downtown. Senator Seward understands the big picture, and his continued support of this program is significant.”
City of Cortland Police Chief F. Michael Catalano said, “Coffee with a Cop and other programs help bring police and the community together and will lead to a safer, thriving downtown. This is a wining collaboration and it is great to have Senator Seward on board.”