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Budget, hanging flower baskets on the menu in North Syracuse

My last report wished you all a happy and healthy New Year, but I forgot to hope for a mild winter! I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Department of Public Works for keeping our roads clear and safe during the past horrendous winter. They worked day and night and were very much appreciated by the travelers in the area. Job well done!

Budget time has been upon us for many weeks, and the North Syracuse Board of Trustees have been diligently working with the department heads to give the homeowners the services that make us a village. They have worked to provide these services at a cost that taxpayers can afford. Initially, I placed a moratorium on all spending in March and asked the departments to cut their budget requests by 10 percent. As you know, Onondaga County took away $225,557 in 2010-2011 and $356,000 in 2011-2012 in sales tax monies. We have had this revenue available in the past for aiding us in mandates such as group health insurance, retirement, etc. In preparation for the future, we eliminated $200,000 in expenses.

On April 14, there will be a public hearing where residents will be given the tentative budget. Most every department took some "hits" and they are cooperating with the administration to make this next year's revenues and expenses as palatable as possible. The board and the fire department are examining the rental of the fire department's meeting hall for public use and contributing to the revenue of the community. Our community center is rented on a daily basis day and night and is very beneficial to our financial picture. We have renovated the second floor conference room in the rear area with a small kitchenette to further accommodate much needed rental facilities. Most of the renovation materials were donated, making this a "win-win" situation for the village and the residents that so often utilize the building.

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