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Fagan: Legislature will cut program funds

TYRONE—Schuyler County Legislative Chairman Dennis Fagan reported the county will be reducing programs in order to keep the 2013-14 budget within the state’s tax cap, during the Tyrone town meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Fagan said the legislature told County Administrator Tim O’Hearn to prepare a budget that is in full compliance with the tax cap. He explained this will hurt local programs.
“It’s impossible, it’s unsustainable,” said Fagan.
However, he said the cuts will affect programs for youth, the elderly, veterans, highway, public safety, economic development, and the Cooperative Extension. Fagan explained the county can’t control the unfunded mandates and residents have to get the state to make changes.
Fagan also reported the county will be cutting back the sales tax revenue towns receive from 24 percent to 20 percent. He said neighboring Yates County doesn’t share any sales tax revenue with the towns.
“You don’t have the mandates we do,” said Fagan about the legislature. “We can’t continue to exist with a lack of mandate relief from Albany.”
However, Fagan also said the county raised $485,000 in sales tax revenue during January 2013. He explained this beats out $453,000 in January 2012. He added December’s numbers were also higher.
In other business:
• Board member Pamela Grimmke said the town is looking to move the granite World War II memorial from the fire department to the memorial garden located next to the town hall. There are 122 names on the tablet. Grimmke said she would like to have it moved by Memorial Day. She added the original, wooden memorial was installed across the road from Ray Dann’s in 1946 or 1947.
• Fagan also reported the Lamoka Waneta Lake Association received one bid to treat the lakes against Eurasian milfoil. He said the treatment areas include 22.5 acres in southern Waneta, 7.5 acres in northern Waneta, 12.5 acres in northern Lamoka/the inlet, and 20 to 30 acres in Mill Pond. Fagan said treatment will only be one or two days in May.
• Justice Clerk Roberta Sparling said the court had no appearances this month. She explained the court has issued warrants for people who have not paid fines. Spaulding said one person has been located in Yates County Jail.
• Planning board Chairperson Jack Wilbert said he has compiled 80 responses from residents for the comprehensive plan. He explained the planning board mailed out approximately 150 surveys. He said many residents indicated they wanted to preserve the natural resources.
• Highway Superintendent Paul Ernhout said the department has an agreement with the state dictating how some of the highway funds will be spent. He explained $250,000 will go towards general repairs and $120,000 for a 10 year project. Ernhout said this leaves the town with $150,000 for work.
• Supervisor Gary Jackson said a resident is requesting to have a burial plot on private land. He explained the person still needs to get state certification.