Oneida County, like many other counties across the state, is
facing budget cuts. The Board of Legislators is hammering out next year's budget, and invited the
public to tonight's meeting.
Despite the rainy weather, over twenty people showed up to tonight's public hearing at the Rome Court House. Many raised concerns of the proposed services being cut, especially in the health department.
The board of Oneida County Legislators has until Wednesday to vote on the 2012 budget planning.
Oneida County's budget is 360-million dollars.
While that sounds like a big number it's not enough. Cuts are coming to Medicaid, and public services such as the library.
But, Legislator Les Porter says they have limited control on certain funding, like Medicaid.
"These are discretionary services we provide to many of these agencies... we only have 10 percent we have to deal with.. 90 percent is mandated items," explains Porter.
Lisa Matt, the Director of the Jervis Public Library in Rome
says starting July 1st of next year, the library will lose 100 percent of
funding from the county.
"We are doing everything we can. But a bake sale will not fill the void. We are working with our state and local officials to shore up the finances for our libraries," says Matt.
After these public hearings, Mr. Porter says they consider all the concerns raised at these meetings.
If you missed tonight's public hearing, there will be one held tomorrow night at seven at the County Office Building in Utica.