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On second thought ...

Christmas has come early for the Town of Cicero Parks and Recreation Department.

The Cicero Town Board met off-schedule Nov. 17 with the intent to pass the 2011 town budget, but not before Supervisor Judy Boyke made a case for adding some things back into the spending plan, including the William Park beach and Learn to Swim Program.

"[We] looked at things that would mean more to the community and residents that were affordable to put back into the budget," Boyke said.

After battling budgetary woes for the last several weeks and asking departments to cut as much as $100,000 from individual budgets, the board conceded - the beach was meant to stay, and Boyke said it was her choice to add it back in. She was supported in that decision by a majority of the board with Jim Corl being the only councilor in opposition.

Boyke said she pursued the beach being added back in and asked the other board members for their support in the endeavor.

"Yes, the beach is back," she said, with the sound of relief in her voice. "It's very exciting."

Director of Youth Bureau, Parks and Recreation Jody Rogers said she, too, is pleased to see the beach and Learn to Swim Program placed back in the 2011 budget.

"I have always supported the beach and swim program for the youth and families in our community due to our close proximity to Oneida Lake," Rogers said. "I also strongly believe that the park and beach are used heavily by residents and it allows for an inexpensive outing for families right in their back yard."

William Park and the beach are available for the community, but without a lot of formalized recreation activities like other town parks, she added.

With the town's budget aligned, the board approved and adopted the plan with a 4.91 percent tax increase, which amounts to approximately $13 per $100,000 assessed value on a home. The board approved the budget in a 4-1 vote, the sole "no" again being Corl.

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