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Skaneateles Budget: Concerns raised cause action to be deferred

Budgets are due and Skaneateles is waiting to vote on theirs until Nov. 19 -- the day before it needs to be filed with the state.

The decision to hold off on voting followed a 30 minutes public hearing on the town budget, which totals $5,515,099.

"I think we need to take the comments under consideration," said Councilor Dave Laxton.

One of Laxton's reasons for wanting the vote deferred to Nov. 19 is a letter received by the board from Supervisor-elect Terri Roney in which she raises several concerns regarding the preliminary 2010 budget.

Also voicing her concerns was Marty Manilla, the first being if the board has done a serious job of cutting during these serious economic times.

According to Supervisor Phil Tierney, the board achieved reductions and said he felt the budget being presented to the community was a good one.

"This is the second year in a row department heads have been asked to cut back and they have done that," said Councilor Nancy Murray.

Overall, the budget has increased $376,000 over last year's budget. However, the overall tax rate has decreased four cents to $2.6043 per $1,000 assessed value. The amount to be levied by taxes is $2,901,614.

Councilor Ellen Kulik said she thinks there is room to cut more and would encourage residents to get involved with the budget process early on. All town budget work sessions are open to the public and the board generally begins meeting in August to discuss the upcoming fiscal year.

While some residents were concerned with the budget process, others were upset about individual line items and funds that were cut. Emily Gregg of the Skaneateles Music Guild, which offers a free Syracuse Symphony Orchestra concert each summer at Austin Park, said the guild had requested $8,000 to help fund the event. Last year they received $6,000.

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