Dec 29, 2010 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
The village of Liverpool’s budget for 2009-10 is $2.7 million, and $550,000 of that sum came from its share of the 4 percent county sales tax. On May 4 the Onondaga County Legislature voted unanimously to retain a larger share of the $280 million it collects in sales tax each year.
The village’s annual allotment was slashed by two-thirds, to $281,000.
Liverpool Mayor Gary White says the new arrangement, which will last for a decade, has left the village in “financial plight.”
At the monthly village board meeting on Dec. 20, White urged residents to attend a pre-budget session at 7 p.m. on Monday Jan. 31, at the Village Hall, 310 Sycamore St.
“This is a chance for the public to learn more about how the sales tax situation will affect us,” White said. The mayor and trustees also hope to hear which services villagers consider most essential.
The budget shortfall means the village faces “some very hard choices,” said Trustee Nick Kochan
White, Kochan and Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims recently met with Travis Glazier, the county’s new director of government relations. “We gave him a lot to take back to the county executive,” White said.
On Nov. 17 the Onondaga County Association of Mayors met in Solvay to discuss restrictions that had been placed on how the villages could use their annual shares of sales tax revenue. Earlier that week, the association’s 15 mayors had received a letter from Onondaga County Chief Fiscal Officer James Rowley indicating that their portion of the sales tax revenue must be spent on “infrastructure projects” that had to be personally approved by County Executive Joanie Mahoney
At the Nov. 17 meeting, White said, county officials told the mayors that “they intended no roadblocks.” Further negotiations with Rowley resulted in a revised agreement which will allow villages to spend the money on infrastructure maintenance, repairs and public-works projects.
The village will still have to apply for the money, White said, “but now they’ve opened up the scope of the grant application to cover things like DPW operations. They said, ‘Yes, that’s absolutely acceptable.'”
While the trustees see the revised agreement as a positive development, they still have to tighten the annual budget in order to avoid raising taxes. They hope for feedback and advice from residents at the Jan. 31 pre-budget meeting.
“To maintain services will take a cooperative effort on everybody’s part,” White said.
One DWI arrest in November
Liverpool Police Chief Bill Becker informed the village board of trustees at their Dec. 20 meeting, that officers issued 120 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws during November. In addition, 30 warning tickets were issued for minor motor-vehicle violations.
One arrest was made for driving while intoxicated, eight traffic accidents were investigated and 26 parking tickets were issued
Officers made 407 residential checks during the month while investigating a total of 265 complaints.