Herkimer County residents can expect to see some changes. They're looking at a nearly 1-percent budget increase, a few county lay-offs, and some changes to the public health department.
"The average tax rate will go from $5.30 dollars, to $5.39 dollars, per thousand," says James Wallace, Herkimer County Administrator.
While times are tough, Wallace says they worked hard to keep the budget within the tax cap.
"With the mandates, and pressures from medicaid and preschool, pensions are killing us this year," says Wallace.
"All of the counties, regardless of size, population, density are struggling," says Christina Cain, Herkimer County interim director of the Public Health Department.
Cain says while money is scarce, some health programs still need more funding.
"I'm looking for budget increase for rabies vaccine prophylaxis," says Cain.
She says that's because the numbers for post exposure to rabies this year were higher than what was budgeted. Cain's also responsible for restructuring of staffing.
"We're trying to make sure that the people that are currently in certain titles are fulfilling to the maximum of their ability, the duties that are encompassed in those titles," says Cain.
2 employees were recently laid off from the Herkimer County's Assessor's Office. Wallace says he does have his concerns.
"Because budgets are very, very difficult we were losing in just the accessing portion of the real property program, about $115,000 dollars," says Wallace.
He anticipates the the layoffs will save $50,000 dollars in 2013 and nearly $85,000 dollars in 2014.
"There's not enough revenue coming in and there's not enough work for these 2 individuals to do. I mean it's unfortunate but we don't look at the people, we look at the positions when making the decisions," says Patrick Russell, Herkimer County Legislator and Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
And these aren't the only layoffs coming to Herkimer County. The budget also includes the elimination of 2 senior nurse positions. Officials say saving the taxpayer dollars is their top priority.
"People in Herkimer County pay a village tax, a school tax, a county tax, and a town tax. All of us in government are trying to find ways to continue services as best we can but not increase the tax burden on people," says Wallace.
The tentative budget is anticipated to be about $97 million dollars. A public hearing is set for next Wednesday night at 7 in the county legislative chambers. And Herkimer County residents are encouraged to attend.