Localities continue to wait for federal stimulus

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Local governments across New York State are still holding out hope that they will receive funding from the next federal stimulus. But, as the clock keeps ticking, some are already making cuts. 

Without federal support, municipalities are expected to face a 20 percent cut in aid from the state. And, some cities like Syracuse, which started its fiscal year in July, have already announced cuts

“The Mayor of Syracuse Ben Walsh put out a detailed plan last week that affects every aspect of the city’s operations. It affects all employees, including the Mayor with furloughs, reductions in benefits, every department police and fire has to contribute to solving the fiscal problem,” said New York State Conference of Mayors Executive Director Peter Baynes.

Baynes said the idea is to start “fixing the hole” in the budget sooner to avoid more even pains later on. He said that most other city budgets are on a calendar year. 

“So they are developing their proposed budgets right now. So over the next month, cities across the state will be putting out their proposed budgets for next year,” Baynes said.

A big theme will likely be reduced services.

“Garbage pickup, cleaning up the parks, youth services — those kinds of things will be cut; capital projects will be delayed,” Baynes said.

He is also expecting that local governments will try to avoid layoffs by opting for furloughs instead, and avoid substantial property tax increases as much as possible.

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