Full Legislature To Receive 2013-14 Proposed Budget With 0.2 Percent Tax Levy Increase

MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County 2014 budget will be moving forward to the full legislature next week.

The legislature’s Audit and Control Committee heard from Kitty Crow, budget director, regarding the proposed budget on Thursday.

County Executive Edwards unveiled his tentative $230.8 million budget to legislators Sept. 25. His budget reflected a 3.4 percent increase to the tax levy, bringing it from $62,135,666 in 2013 to $64,263,004 in 2014.

Following two weeks of budget hearings, the tentative budget from the Audit and Control Committee reflects a tax levy of $62,276,004.

The largest changes included a reduction of more than $1 million in Intergovernmental Transfer funding for the Chautauqua County Home. The next largest reduction proposed by the committee included reducing the Office for the Aging’s budget by $500,000. The committee also made a $200,000 cut to Safety Net funding, which is associated with Welfare to Work funding. The Audit and Control Committee was also informed by Susan Marsh, county finance director, of additional revenues in the electric fund. Marsh explained when additional revenues are recognized, they are placed in the fund balance. Since the money is placed in the fund balance, the committee recommended reducing the fund balance by $250,000 to recognize the profit from the electric fund. The committee also recommends an increase of $10,000 into the legislative budget for outside council.

Crow also recommended, and the committee amended, increasing the use of fund balance by $25,000 for maintenance of dams on the Conewango Watershed, which are the responsibility of the county. The safety net funding was also balanced out of various accounts, including state and federal aid and contractual accounts.

The committee unanimously approved the amendments and passed the tentative budget to be considered by the full legislature. Tom DeJoe, D-Brocton, was the only committee member opposing the budget, for its decrease in Intergovernmental Transfer Funding for the Chautauqua County Home.

A public hearing for the 2014 budget will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the legislative chambers on the third floor of the Gerace Office Building. A full legislature meeting to vote on the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. that night.