Yates County continues budget review
YATES COUNTY—The Yates County Legislature continued their review of the 2014 tentative budget Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 28 and 29 during their annual workshop session. The $43,403,724 2014 tentative budget was trimmed by $281,586 during the first day of discussion, which dropped the proposed tax levy increase from 10.9 percent to 9 percent. The legislature continued their work into Tuesday, Oct. 29, attempting to reach their target increase range of 5 to 7 percent.
Monday’s largest cut came out of education, as the legislature reduced the education of handicapped children line by $200,000. The early intervention service in public health was also reduced by $50,000. The next largest reduction was by $18,000 in the sale of tax-acquired property, while the largest increase to the budget amounted to $15,000 in legal assistance in the county attorney’s office.
The legislature attempted to make cuts in other areas, but failed to muster enough support to approve the reductions. The legislature voted on a motion to eliminate funding for the ARC, but only received three votes in support. The legislature instead approved a 10 percent cut in funding for the ARC, reducing its budget by $3,009.
The legislature also failed to approve reducing the $56,000 purchase of two new patrol cars to only one new car in the sheriff’s department, with only five votes in support. Sheriff Ron Spike said patrol cars need to be replaced. He said the old cars are then used for jail transport and then used in other county departments afterward. County Administrator Sarah Purdy said if the legislature were to take a car out of the sheriff’s budget, they would have to reconsider not purchasing a vehicle for the department of social services.
While the county did not make any adjustments to funding for programs like Cornell Cooperative Extension, Chairman Taylor Fitch said he was frustrated with the decreased fundraising numbers from the agency. He said while programs like cooperative extension and soil and water are some of the more important agencies the county has, he is “very disappointed in local fundraising.”