County un­veils $122M bud­get

Tax­pay­ers would see a 2.5% tax in­crease if bud­get passes

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Front Page - By Charles Pritchard cpritchard@onei­dadis­patch.com Re­porter

Madi­son County tax­pay­ers are look­ing at a 2.5 per­cent tax in­crease should county su­per­vi­sors pass their pro­posed $122 mil­lion bud­get for 2019.

The 2019 ten­ta­tive bud­get calls for an in­crease to the tax levy of $945,000 or 2.5 per­cent. If adopted, the com­pos­ite tax rate on prop­er­ties would in­crease by 5 cents per $1,000 of tax­able value, or $5 for a $100,000 home.

The tax levy limit im­posed by New York state al­lows for an in­crease to the tax levy by about $997,000 and while this gives Madi­son County some room to ma­neu­ver, Madi­son County Trea-

some room to ma­neu­ver, Madi­son County Trea­surer Cindy Edick said it’s im­por­tant Madi­son County stay un­der the tax levy set by NewYork state this year.

“It is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for the county to adopt a bud­get that com­plies with the tax levy limit this year,” Edick said. “Oth­er­wise, we would be inel­i­gi­ble to re­ceive state aid re­im­burse­ment for Raise the Age ex­pen­di­tures. Those are es­ti­mated to be $1.7 mil­lion in the 2019 ten­ta­tive bud­get.”

New York’s Raise the Age, passed last year, calls for most 16-year-olds who com­mit non-vi­o­lent crimes to be tried in Fam­ily Court in­stead of au­to­mat­i­cally in adult crim­i­nal court. More se­ri­ous charges go to a “Youth Part” of crim­i­nal court. Six­teen-year- olds who are ar­rested for non­vi­o­lent of­fenses will have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties for di­ver­sion and com­mu­ni­ty­based ser­vices as youths 15 and un­der.

Mean­while, 16- yearolds charged with se­ri­ous of­fenses will be pro­cessed as ado­les­cent of­fend­ers in a Youth Part of crim­i­nal court and placed in spe­cial­ized se­cure de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties for ado­les­cents in­stead of adult jails. The law will ex­tend to 17-yearolds on Oc­to­ber 1, 2019.

“The county’s es­ti­mated ex­pen­di­tures for Raise the Age could in­crease dras­ti­cally com­pared to 2018 due to the phas­ing in of this law,” Edick said. “Im­ple­men­ta­tion of the law re­quires ad­di­tional re­sources in de­part­ments such as pro­ba­tion, so­cial ser­vices and the sher­iff’s of­fice.”

Edick an­tic­i­pates New York state will re­im­burse coun­ties 100 per­cent for these ex­penses, as long as the county’s plan is ap­proved by the state and com­plies with the state tax cap.

Madi­son County has al­ready au­tho­rized a lo­cal law to over­ride the 2019 tax levy and will need to re­scind this law for the county to be con­sid­ered tax cap com­pli­ant and qual­ify for state aid, Edick ex­plained.

The bulk of the 2019 bud­get is aimed at in­vest­ing in Madi­son County’s res­i­dents, com­mu­ni­ties and in­fra­struc­ture, Edick said.

“With the ex­cep­tion of high­way and the Sher­iff’s Road Pa­trol, al­most all of the ser­vices the county pro­vides are state man­dated,” said Edick. “The 2019 spend­ing plan re­flects our com­mit­ment to in­vest­ing in Madi­son County’s res­i­dents, com­mu­ni­ties and in­fra­struc­ture. It pro­vides for all state man­dates, it de­liv­ers high­way and Sher­iff’s Road Pa­trol ser­vices, and it main­tains fund­ing for not-for-profit agen­cies at 2018 lev­els. This fis­cally sound bud­get plan con­ser­va­tively es­ti­mates reve- nues, while main­tain­ing a healthy fund bal­ance.”

Edick asked the Board of Su­per­vi­sors that if there is any changes that in­crease the levy to­wards the tax cap, to give her some room to ma­neu­ver.

“So much state aid is on the line,” Edick said. “I would hate to have us go right up to that dol­lar, then have a round­ing er­ror that causes us to not be el­i­gi­ble.”

Le­banon Su­per­vi­sor James Gold­stein clar­i­fied with Edick that Madi­son County has around $40,000 to $50,000 lee­way and asked if all of the county’s non-prof­its are be­ing kept at the same level of aid as the 2018 bud­get.

“Right now, all of the not-for-profit agen­cies that are in the 2019 bud­get are the same as 2018,” Edick said. “The only ex­cep­tion is a one time con­tri­bu­tion to Clear Path for Vet­er­ans last year.”

The 2019 bud­get also in­cludes new ad­di­tions such as fund­ing for school re­source of­fi­cers across the county. Madi­son County is of­fer­ing to cover up to $18,000 per re­source of­fi­cer; the re­main­der of the cost would be up to the school dis­trict. Each SRO would be a re­tired of­fi­cer and would re­port to the Madi­son County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

“We live in a time where we must con­sider the safety of our youth,” said Madi­son County Chair­man and Sul­li­van Su­per­vi­sor John Becker. “Be- ing able to pro­vide safety to our school districts is a no-brainer.”

The Madi­son County Cor­nell Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion is see­ing an in­crease in their bud­get from $319,658 to $384,658. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Madi­son County Cor­nell Co­op­er­a­tive Ex­ten­sion and Madi­son County 4-H Club spoke at Thurs­day’s an­nual ses­sion, thank­ing su­per­vi­sors for their con­tin­ued sup­port and to keep in­vest­ing in their cause.

“We are ask­ing you to con­sider mak­ing an in­crease to en­sure the pro­grams we pi­loted this year can con­tinue,” Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Karin Bump said. “They­won’t be able to with­out ad­di­tional fund­ing, such as our ‘Ag in the Class­room’ pro­gram. Once a month, up to seven times a year, we in­ter­face with around 800 school chil­dren a month. It’s im­por­tant for third and fourth graders and helps the­mu­nder­stand the im­por­tance of agri­cul­ture.”

Bump said the MCCCE has also been­work­ing­with Sher­iff Todd Hood and the Madi­son County Sher­iff’s Of­fice en­sure law en­force­ment have train­ing to bet­ter re­spond to an­i­mal cru­elty calls.

“I’ve been a 4-H leader and vol­un­teer in this county for over 30 years,” Ann Jan­son said. “And I’ve seen mul­ti­ple changes in the 4-H depart­ment and co­op­er­a­tive ex­ten­sion. The highs and the lows. The staff we have now is go­ing places. But they need help from you guys.”

Jan­son said with help of the MCCCE and their ed­u­ca­tors, 4-H and the CCE brought the 4-H pro­gram to Brook­field Cen­tral School. Jan­son said sev­eral stu­dents hadn’t even heard of 4-H un­til they made their move, earn­ing a thumbs up from Brook­field Su­per­vi­sor John Salka.

As a stu­dent of 4-H and the CCE, Brian Young of Cazen­ovia has spent nine years learn­ing to love agri­cul­ture.

“Be­cause of CCE and 4-H, I’ve gone through a lot of pro­grams, got to see a lot of great things,” Young said. “I’ve went to Cap­i­tal Days. I’ve done ca­reer ex­plo­rations at Cor­nell Univer­sity. I’ve seen so many events, done so many things and met so many peo­ple I wouldn’t oth­er­wise. Thanks to 4-H and CCE, these pro­grams have been made pos­si­ble.”

The ten­ta­tive bud­get is avail­able on the Madi­son County Web­site at www. madisoncounty.ny.gov/Archive.aspx?ADID=332.

Res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to give their feed­back on the ten­ta­tive bud­get. Pub­lic Hear­ing days about the bud­get are sched­uled for:

• Nov. 15, at 10:10 a.m. in the Su­per­vi­sor’s Cham­bers, 138 N. Court St., Wampsville

• Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. in the Su­per­vi­sor’s Cham­bers, 138 N. Court St., Wampsville

CHARLES PRITCHARD — ONEIDA DAILY DIS­PATCH

Madi­son County su­per­vi­sors and lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers gather be­fore the first day of an­nual ses­sion on Thurs­day, Nov. 8, 2018.

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