UTICA, N.Y. (WFXV-TV) — During Oneida County’s Board Of Legislator’s monthly meeting, the main topic on the agenda was the budget for 2021. Like other communities, financial stressors from the pandemic lead to a number of cuts,
“Places like Cornell Cooperative Extension, and the libraries had to be cut by 50%. Mohawk Valley Edge got cut, soil and water, the Flood Mitigation Program, you know other capital expenditures and funding streams.” -Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive
Discretionary spending was cut by about $3.5 million and there’s $5 million difference from last year’s budget. In addition, the county eliminated around 50 positions, but Picente says these cuts have amounted to much more.
“When all is said and done probably cut about $14 million from this budget in terms of where we currently are because we also cut revenue. When you cut revenues, you’re cutting the budget. So you’re taking in less money than you did the year before as well as spending less money.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive
Unlike past budgets, this year’s couldn’t afford to include any new initiatives. Picente says when the county’s revenue increases, then they’ll be able to pass on more funds to areas that were cut. He says this budget was the most difficult he’s ever had to deal with,
“None of it was easy, none it was. There wasn’t any specific formula. I was like look, everybody’s got to feel some pain.” – Anthony Picente, Oneida County Executive
The next board meeting is scheduled for December 23rd.