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Cicero board adopts a budget – at last

— Reduction of the salt budget in the highway department by $50,000.

Reduction of the drainage budget by $200,000.

Reduction of the stipend paid to town historian Thomas Mafrici by $1,000.

Reduction of the stipend paid to the town’s Bingo inspector by $137 (Boyke pointed out that the town is required by state law to have a paid Bingo inspector as long as Bingo is allowed within the township).

Removal of the cold patch line item in the highway budget, reducing that budget by $2,750.

Closing the beach at Williams Park.

No raises for any elected officials.

No raises for any department heads.

Reduction of town board members’ salaries by 5 percent.

Reduction of supervisor’s salary by 5 percent.

Corl’s budget, as proposed, called for a 1.75 percent tax increase, or $20 per $100,000 of assessed value.

Corl repeatedly emphasized the need to plan for the future.

“Next year, we will be experiencing a shortage of $600,000 when the county takes away our sales tax revenue,” he said. “We need to be prepared for that now.”

Boyke, meanwhile, asserted that the current economic situation constituted an emergency that necessitated the use of the fund balance.

“I think that it’s reasonable when it’s a fund to use in an emergency, and I feel this is an emergency,” she said.

“Next year, we’re going to be in even more of an emergency,” Corl argued. “When we’re under the 2 percent tax cap by law and we don’t have the sales tax revenue of $600,000, we will be in crisis, we will have to have major layoffs.”

Residents, tired of the bickering, expressed their displeasure with their elected officials over the whole process.

“I’m very disgusted with what I’m seeing here,” said Mark Venesky. “We’re getting to the final hours when we have to submit a budget. To wait until the last minute with no compromise – this should have been done, it should have been handled, it should have been discussed and we should have had a budget on the table. I expect that the right thing for the town of Cicero and these taxpayers will be handled and done today. This is unacceptable. And if I haven’t been paying enough attention, I am now.”

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