AUDIT AND CONTROL COMMITTEE BRINGS DOWN 2012 TAX INCREASE
MAYVILLE – If all recommendations were approved today by the full legislature, the property tax increase for next year in Chautauqua County would be 5.66 percent. That after the Chautauqua County Legislature’s Audit and Control Committee met yesterday morning and continued looking for ways to bring down the tax rate.
The committee went into yesterday’s session with a goal of reducing a 7 percent sales tax increase down to below 2 percent. And while lawmakers were unable to met that goal, they still were able to eliminate nearly $1.15 million out of next year’s tax levy. The plan by the Audit and control committee will now go before the full legislature next Wednesday, although committee member Chuck Nazzaro of Jamestown isn’t optimistic other lawmakers will support all the changes.
The audit and control committee made a total of seven changes to the budget during yesterday’s meeting, including restoring $500,000 from Sheriff’s department by removing the controversial 53rd Medicaid Payment – which totaled $610,372. The panel used the remaining $110,372 of that payment to bring down the tax levy.
The panel also increased its sales tax projection for next year by $540,000 and agreed to remove $250,000 in its IGT Payment from the County Home and $150,000 was cut out of the county airport budget.
Next Wednesday, a total of 11 budget changes by the committee will go before the full legislature. Prior to its voting session, a public hearing on the budget will take place at 6:30 p.m. in legislative Chambers.
SHERIFF COMMENTS ON $500,000 RESTORATION TO 2012 BUDGET
MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace was able to see the Audit and Control Committee restore some money to his budget for next year. But while he appreciates the $500,000 restoration, he says it’s still not nearly enough, when considering a total of $2.6 million has been taken away from his department in just two years.
The Sheriff says he and his staff will now meet to decide how to best utilize that $500,000 – should the full legislature support the restoration.
COUNTY LAWMAKERS RECEIVES 2010 INDEPENDENT AUDIT
MAYVILLE – Chautauqua County’s 2010 budget received a full bill of health, but some concerns have been raised with a lack of staffing in the county’s finance department. That’s according to the Accounting firm of Buffamante, Whipple and Buttafaro, who sat down with the Audit and Control Committee yesterday morning to go over the an Independent Audit of last year’s finances. The audit found that the 2010 budget was in accordance with state law and there were no major discrepancies. However, the accountants still listed several recommendations for the county to consider in the future, including increasing staffing in its finance department and streamlining the reporting process from all departments. County
Finance Director Darin Shultz says those were issues he’s been aware of and he’s hopeful things will change during the next year or two. Although the independent audit listed the reporting process as a primary concern, Shults said he’s still pleased with the overall results.
WATERSHED CONSERVANCY TO HOLD TOUR OF WATERSHED PRESERVE
JAMESTOWN – The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy invites you to tour its Randy Allan Hendrickson Watershed Preserve and learn about the benefits of this property in collecting, storing and delivering clean water to Chautauqua Lake. The walk will be held from 1:00 to 2:30 PM on
Sunday, October 23rd and will be led by CWC Conservationist Deb Naybor. Participants should meet at the corner of Woodworth and Elmwood Avenues (south of Fairmount Avenue), West Ellicott. Participants should wear boots or waterproof footwear.
The tour is free for CWC members, with a $5 suggested donation for non-members. To register for this event or learn more about how the CWC can help you to conserve or enhance your property, please call the Conservancy at 664-2166.
‘THESE ARE DAYS’ CLOSING RECEPTION IS SATURDAY
JAMESTOWN – And don’t forget that a closing reception of the “These are Days” exhibit will be taking place tomorrow night at the Arts Council’s 3rd on 3rd Gallery. Stop by and take a trip through 30 years of memories with 10,000 Maniacs one more time before the exhibit ends on Oct. 29. The reception will begin at 8 p.m. and continue through the evening.
ARTS ON FIRE TO FEATURE LOCAL AUTHOR AND LOCAL PROMOTER
JAMESTOWN – Tune in to Arts on Fire this afternoon at 1 p.m. and hear from local author Lia Habel, who’s first book “Dearly Departed” was just released for sale by the Del Ray publishing company. We will also talk with local entertainer and promoter Angelo Guiffre, who will give us details about the Spire – a new entertainment venue located in the First Congregational Church in Jamestown.