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September 23, 2018

Legislators Approve 2018 County Budget

OSWEGO, NY – After a brief discussion and a handful of amendments, the Oswego County Legislature adopted the 2018 budget Thursday night.

Kevin Gardner, out-going chairman of the legislature and in-coming county treasurer, said he feels the county is in a good place right now.

Veteran legislator Jack Proud of Mexico makes a point at his final county meeting Thursday night.

Veteran legislator Jack Proud of Mexico makes a point at his final county meeting Thursday night.

The $202,326,341 budget’s tax levy will be $43.8 million – the generic tax rate comes out to be $7.70 per thousand, the same as it was for 2017 and 2016, Gardner pointed out.

Gardner thanked the legislators “from both sides of the aisle” as well as all the department heads who worked to create the 2018 budget.

“What a way to go out. I think this legislature did a good job on the budget. We stabilized taxes again for another year,” Gardner said after his last meeting as chairman. “I think the county is in a very good place. I think the legislature next year will do a fantastic job. It’s been a pleasure serving as chair of this legislature.”

The Minority Caucus opposed the use of money from the fund balance for the budget.

Even though the county has used funds from its reserves to balance budgets, the county treasurer-elect said he “absolutely believes” the county’s finances are in a good spot.

“Some of the general fund should go back to the taxpayers,” he added. “It’s their money. We shouldn’t hold it hostage. Let it go back to them. You know, we haven’t cut services, I’m very confident that we’re in a good place.”

The Democrats also objected to the budget including salary increases for legislators.

The vote to approve the budget went along party lines.

Among the amendments to the budget proposal were: personnel related updates; changes in health insurance to reflect updated projected costs and revenues, Treasurer’s Department (consulting) $5,000 increase for known costs, Development Efficiency Fund (consulting) $100,000 decrease, Unallocated Insurance (liability insurance) $1,080 decrease.

Legislators said goodbye at Thursday’s meeting to Gardner, Jacob Mulcahey and John Proud. The three didn’t seek re-election.

Gardner and Mulcahey served a couple terms; Proud served more than a couple decades.

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