Hearing set Nov. 7 for Genesee County budget - The Buffalo News

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Hearing set Nov. 7 for Genesee County budget

BATAVIA – The Genesee County Legislature has scheduled a public hearing for Nov. 7 on a proposed 2012 budget of $149.1 million that if approved would push the real property tax over $10 after years of holding the line with small increases.

The spending plan advanced by county manager and budget director Jay A. Gsell calls for a tax rate of $10.11 per $1,000 assessed valuation. At the Legislature’s insistence, the rate has hovered in the $9.90 range for several years. Now legislators want to hold the rate at $10.04, keeping it below the state’s two percent cap on property levies.

The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at the Office for the Aging, 2 Bank St.

County property taxes would raise $27 million toward a general fund of $104.6 million. Most departments are holding the line on spending, but the overall increase is over a half-million dollars.

A major change occurs in the Sheriff’s Office, where the cost of operating the jail goes to $4 million because of the state’s insistence on higher staffing levels.

To help balance his plan, Gsell proposes using $2.5 million from this year’s surplus and $1.1 million from an estimated increase in sales tax collection.

In other business, the legislators:

• Agreed to accept a federal grant of $1 million to relocate the tie-down apron at the county airport. The state and county share in 10 percent of the cost, about $54,000 for each. The county’s share comes from an added one percent sales tax reserved for capital projects.

• Approved using $61,500 of federal, state and local money for consultant C&S Companies of Syracuse to design a taxiway and apron for additional T-Hangars.

• Authorized the Sheriff’s Office to spend $143,000 for a digital voice recording system. The Wilmac Co. of Rochester will get the contract, which is part of the $10 million overhaul of the countrywide 800 MHz analog radio system.

• Approved using a $15,000 state grant for mobile computers for sheriff’s patrol cars.

• Accepted a federal Department of Homeland Security award of $98,000 in HazMat funds for equipment shared by Genesee and four neighboring counties.

• Sought to minimize the influx of out-of-state residents seeking welfare benefits by requesting state officials to establish residency requirements.

The legislators said it costs county taxpayers “thousands of dollars” for families moving into New York, largely for Medicaid.

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