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Yates County legislature approves measures after hearings ADVERTISEMENT

Yates County legislature approves measures after hearings

YATES COUNTY--During a busy meeting Monday, June 13 the Yates County Legislature approved the redistricting map, approved new video conferencing rules, renamed the Yates County Department of Emergency Services and transferred $8 million to reserve funds. With sales tax numbers growing ever higher in recent years combined with a reduction in debt services, a recent audit determined Yates had millions of additional unappropriated dollars available to spend.
"We have $8 million to distribute and that is because last year we had really good sales tax and low expenditures," said County Administrator Nonie Flynn.
In two separate votes, the legislature unanimously authorized the disbursement of those funds to a buildings reserve fund and an infrastructure reserve fund.
"This doesn't mean we aren't going to give money back to taxpayers, it just means we are going to fund these four main projects without borrowing money," said Flynn. "We are setting it aside for these projects in a reserve fund. So by doing this we don't have to borrow money and we don't have to delay the projects. We want to do this without taking on debt."
Those four projects include expanded high-speed internet access, upgrades to the public safety building, building costs and communications upgrades.
"It is important to remember that we have also given breaks to the taxpayers throughout the years and will continue to do so," Flynn added. "Our tax levy has been $16.5 million over the past three years and in the past eight years has only increased by $700,000."
After months of debate and discussion, the redistricting plan that keeps the number of legislators at 14 was officially approved.
Legislator Dan Banach reiterated that he wanted Penn Yan to be one legislative district and was the sole vote against the redistricting plan.
While Banach was the sole vote against, Legislator Douglas Paddock abstained from the vote.
Despite the fact that he said he is "very supportive of 14 legislators," Paddock attributed his abstention to mixed feelings regarding the redistricting plan.
The legislature also approved new videoconferencing rules that require the group to be physically present unless a member is facing "extraordinary circumstances." This includes "disability, illness, caregiving responsibilities, or any other significant or unexpected factor or event which precludes the member's physical attendance at such meeting." Members of the public can participate in meetings both in-person or via the internet. The resolution states, "it will be ensured that videoconferencing allows the same public participation as in-person public participation."
The legislature also voted to change the name of the Department of Emergency Management to the Department of Emergency Services in a unanimous vote. Flynn explained the change was made to more clearly define the services the office provides.




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