continued Several departments attempted to trim their budgets in order to lessen the impact on Cicero’s taxpayers. For example, the justice court, highway and parks department didn’t fills the position left when employees retired or left, better deals were negotiated for medical, workers’ compensation and liability insurance, drainage projects and the town garbage contract and several positions were consolidated. In addition, the budget does not designate any funds for the Brewerton revitalization project. The project has stalled in the last year or so. That move saves an additional $100,000 in the 2013 budget.
However, many departments saw increases in their salary budget lines, and contractual obligations increased almost across the board.
Corl blamed previous administrations for the latter.
“The increased contractual obligations that previous administrations have bound this town add to our dilemmas,” he said. “[They] will cost the town in excess of $120,000 over 2012.”
Another expense in the 2013 budget, one Corl said couldn’t be avoided, is $800,000 in the paving budget line. After a thorough review of the town’s 130 miles of roads, nearly a quarter need to be reconstructed.
“In recent years, the town has done work on approximately two to three miles per year,” Corl said. “At that rate, we will not make headway, and our roads will continue to crumble.”
Corl said it is imperative that the project be undertaken as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.
“Waiting even just a couple of years to fix roads would result in a dramatic increase in costs,” he said.
In addition, Corl was reluctant to take any more money from the town’s fund balance to offset taxes, as he said too much had already been used in recent years.
“We must wean ourselves from continued reliance on balancing the town’s budget on the savings account,” he said. “In the last five years, the town has balanced the budget by relying on more than $5 million of fund balance. This is unsustainable.”