Schuyler approves 2023 budget

Nov 23, 2022 at 11:01 pm by Observer-Review

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Schuyler approves 2023 budget

SCHUYLER COUNTY--At the Monday, Nov. 14, Schuyler County legislature meeting, legislators approved the 2023 budget, which stands at $55.7 million (minus transfers). This is a 7.49 percent increase from the adopted 2022 budget but the 2023 tax rate is projected to be $6.26 per $1,000, which is an 8.99 percent decrease from 2022. The 2023 budget, according to County Administrator Fonda Chronis, will lower the tax rate for the 11th consecutive year; recognize the county's economic growth through higher sales tax and bed tax revenue; and will not reduce any programs or services.
Further, the budget will increase salaries for county employees by a total of $900,000; fund the new model for the county ambulance service; invest in capital equipment; and use state funds to support the county's veterans and provide funds to public and mental health programs.
Chronis also offered a bit of historical perspective: Since 2014, the tax levy has gone up 2.7 percent while the tax rate has gone down 25.1 percent.
Initiatives for the new ambulance model reflected a decision made at a special meeting on Nov. 9, during which legislators approved signing a contract with Cayuga Health Transport to provide ambulance services in Schuyler County. Legislator Michael Lausell cast the only negative vote.
At that meeting, Director of Emergency Services Kirk Smith said the county would develop a new model, which he described as "fluid."
"We'll have three ambulances on for 12-hour daytime shifts in Odessa, Tyrone, and Watkins Glen and two ambulances on overnight shifts. If Watkins Glen gets busy, we will move an ambulance from one of the outlying stations into Watkins."
Smith described the new approach as much more consistent and is confident that response times will meet the national benchmark, which is approximately nine minutes.
Chronis confirmed that the county took delivery of two ambulances on Nov. 14. He also said that Cayuga Health Transport is finalizing ambulance station leases; some Cayuga Health Transport employees are scheduled to start on Nov. 15; and mutual aid and transition plans are in the works.





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