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Salina budget a work in progress

The Salina Town Board is still working to get its budget under the 2 percent property tax cap, Supervisor Mark Nicotra said Monday night at the board’s regular meeting.

“We’re working tirelessly,” Nicotra said. “It’s a work in progress. We will work until the last day to provide the most responsible budget that the taxpayers can afford.”

First Ward Councilor and Deputy Supervisor Colleen Gunnip said the board is working with the town’s department heads to continue to cut costs from the tentative $9,633,631 budget.

“We’re trying to address some infrastructure issues,” Gunnip said. “We’ve made some cuts. We want to stay under the tax cap this year, but we also want to make sure we stay under it in the future. We’ll have a couple more meetings, and we’ll work on it right up until the last minute.”

The town is also considering whether it needs to increase the allotment for its enhanced services contract with the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Department, as some residents have complained about increased crime. A representative from the sheriff’s department was present at Monday’s meeting; he said he would gather some statistics for the board and let them know if there was actually an increase in call volume for some areas and if an adjustment was necessary.

Town controller Greg Maxwell gave a brief explanation of the tax cap legislation that was enacted about a year and a half ago, noting that Salina’s property tax levy can range up to about $439,000 and stay within the 2 percent cap.

“At present, the entire tax levy in the town would be going up about $109,000, which is about 1 percent,” Maxwell said. “That’s about $330,000 less than the allowable tax levy.”

“That should be good, right?” Nicotra said.

“It should be,” Maxwell replied.

“Why isn’t it?” Nicotra asked.

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