Oneida County Gets Cold Shoulder in NYS Budget: Consolidation and Gaming Revenue

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An entire budget proposal in the books, but the chapter about the Mohawk Valley left out yet again.  Eyewitness News reporter Nicole Todd reached out to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente for his input.

In a laundry list of details in the budget, not once was our region touched on but Picente believes that it will have a lasting impact on the valley and the tax payers in it.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente says he understands the Governor can’t mention every area in the state.  But while the Governor mentions nano technology and other initiatives that impact our region, Picente says we’ve been given the cold shoulder–but the money owed to us remains.

“As we see the money for the Nano Center in Marcy is still in place, the money for the hospital is still in place, the other initiatives that the Governor put forth in terms of requiring county execs and others to convene for consolidation I think the Governor really needs to take a hard look at what he’s asking here and really doesn’t understand local governments and putting that kind of proposal forward.”

Cuomo revealed that the 2018 New York Budget would implement a consolidation plan for every county-including public works and sales tax.  Leaving the final say up to voters on how their towns, cities and villages would operate.  Picente says this should be taken in smaller bites and not the way the Governor is requesting.

“It really is not as easy as he puts on paper and really looks at I’ve done all these things on the state we’ve saved money so now its up to the counties to go and save everybody else money while he goes out and spends money so it works out for him but not for those of us on the front line.”

And another blow to Oneida County, was the proposal of shared gaming revenue.  Madison County is set to receive $2.25 million in new revenue for their Yellow Brick Road Casino, that competes with Turning Stone.  Picente says it was a 4 way agreement- and he feels the county has yet again been short changed.

“I will be talking to the Oneidas to see what they would like to do because clearly Madison County won’t look at it as a breech they are looking at getting revenue.  I’m not opposed to them getting revenue I just want it done the right way the legal way the way the settlement dictates it and I will take any action going forward to see it that way.”

After reaching out to the Madison County Board Chairman on his input, I was told they are going over the wording of the budget but no formal statement has been given yet.

Check back with Eyewitness News for continuing coverage on the State Budget and its impact on our region.

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