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Mayor Tobin’s 2016 Budget Holds Line on Taxes, Aims to Improve Neighborhoods

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Cortland City Mayor Brian Tobin is set to present his proposed budget to the Cortland City Council tonight. The 2016 budget would increase spending but would keep taxes flat next year.

If Tobin’s budget is approved city residents would see no increase in taxes for a second year in a row.

The $15.3 million dollar budget would increase spending over 4%, but the budget assumes an increase in revenue to offset the increase in expenditures.

Tobin says his budget includes several line items to continue current efforts to address quality of life issues in Cortland’s neighborhoods.

The proposed spending plan includes $70 thousand dollars to address vacant and abandoned homes.

Tobin says the money is a small step toward addressing “zombie” properties that sit idle for years while banks and courts foreclose and sell the properties.

Tobin has also proposed a $40 thousand dollar neighborhood empowerment fund that would provide about $5 thousand dollars to each of the city’s 8 wards for improvement projects. Another $40 thousand would be set-aside for Tobin to identify similar initiatives.

Another $50 thousand dollars would be invested in city parks and playgrounds which will continue a two-year effort started last year.

The money would be spent to replace the city’s lighter duty pick-up trucks in all departments while increasing funding for the city’s DPW’s equipment reserve.

The city has applied for over $5 million in grants to address infrastructure and other needs.

Tobin said he felt it was important to have the budget out well ahead of election day and to give the council plenty of time to work with the proposal.

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