Onondaga County approves In-Bev PILOT, budget hearing set for Oct. 6

— The Onondaga County Legislature met Sept. 6 with a light agenda as most departments are preparing for the 2012 budget.

At this session, the public hearing for the budget was set for 7 p.m. Oct. 6 to be held in the legislative chambers. The County Executive’s presentation of the 2012 county budget is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 14 in the legislative chambers. The County Executive will present her proposed budget to the legislature, and highlight any specific initiatives she has planned. The Legislature’s Ways and Means committee will begin their review of the budget and hear from all departments over the following two weeks up to the public hearing in October.

This session we accepted a grant from the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation in the amount of $712,500 for the War Memorial Arena Rain Water Reuse System. This grant will be used to offset the costs associated with the reuse system, which was approved for $1.2 million. The system will capture 400,000 gallons of rainwater and reuse it to make ice next season for the Crunch. The county also received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for Air-One. This grant will assist in the costs of fuel and maintenance for this year, and will be used to cover the costs of enforcement for patrolling our rural areas for marijuana. Both grants offset funding that was approved for this year and should help us finish the year in the black.

Lastly, the legislature approved a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement for Anheuser Busch In-Bev. The PILOT is contingent upon the Baldwinsville School Board and the town of Lysander approving this agreement. The agreement sets an amount of property tax owed by Anheuser Busch In-Bev for each year to each municipality. Inclusive in the PILOT is a recapture clause that calls for repayment of any tax break should the plant close. I was pleased to sponsor this legislation and that it passed without any opposition. It is imperative that the government do what it can to keep New York companies comparative to similar companies across the country or we are going to lose more businesses and more jobs.

Rich Lesniak represents the first district, which includes the Town of Lysander and the western portion of Clay. Rich welcomes constituent feedback; he can be contacted at 638-8373.

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