continued The budget has a total of $5,056,921 in appropriations, which is about a $150,000 increase from last year. Wages and benefits for village employees make up a 55 percent and debt accounts for another 13 percent. The village currently has about an 8 percent fund balance and the individual department and sewer budgets make up the remaining 24 percent. Each department, aside from the department of public works, will see reduced spending from last year.
But for many residents, young and old, the cancellation of the village’s annual fireworks show, which has been held since the nation's bicentennial in 1976, is what really hits home. Tackman said he’s sad the tradition has to end, but that the village just doesn’t have the money to make it happen.
“We hate to see them go – it’s a novelty for the village,” he said. “People from all over the county drive in for the fireworks. Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot afford the $8,500 to do them. It’s a lot for a village to maintain something like that.”
Tackman also announced at the meeting that the flowers along West Manlius Street in the village will have to go too in order to bring down costs. Additionally, some traditional village events, such as the Taste of East Syracuse, will be moved to nearby parks.
Despite the less-than-optimal tax situation, there are some residents who still have hope for the village. Sally Seeley has called East Syracuse her home for the past 35 years and she’s been a regular at board meetings during that time. She said she’s impressed with how the new mayor and trustees are handling the situation.
“They live here too,” Seeley said. “They have to suffer with the same issues as we do and they don’t like having to do this any more than the rest of us do. Why is our budget so much higher than everybody else’s? It isn’t something they created in the past month. It’s a tough job and I commend them for it.”