Manlius Town Board proposes $12.93 million spending plan

— Marzola credited Highway Superintendent Rob Cushing for keeping his department’s budget increase to around $20,000, or .97-percent.

“Considering what’s going on there and the amount of sand and salt they use, I think that’s very positive,” he said. “And Rob needs to be complimented for how tightly he’s maintaining costs for all these residents while providing significant service.”

Supervisor Theobald said the town saved money by not entering a contract with Onondaga County last year that asked town highway departments to plow all county roads within town lines. As part of an initiative by County Executive Joanie Mahoney to encourage towns to plow more county roads, the county agreed to pay towns $6,335 per centerline mile to take over the job, a 7-percent increase from the previous year. Manlius was joined by four towns — Camillus, Otisco, Clay and DeWitt — in turning down the deal.

“It turns out we made money even though we didn’t go with the contract, because of the savings we had with the material, the salt and so on,” Theobald said, adding: “That’s one of the reasons we didn’t go with the contract with the county — because we knew it was not cost-effective for us last year.”

Mike McGrew, one of two town residents to speak at the budget hearing, was complimentary of the town board’s budget preparations and presentation, but critical of the low attendance by residents.

“The first thing I want to do is apologize to the board,” McGrew said. “Two. Two! How many people do we have in this … town? Thirty-thousand? Two people are interested enough to come and see what you’re spending $12 million on? Appalling. Absolutely appalling.”

He then commended the town board for doing a “super job” presenting the budget in a way that everyone could understand, before suggesting that the board make clearer the places in the budget where savings are being found.

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