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VIDEO: Public hearing draws tiny crowd in Seneca Falls on Tuesday

The Seneca Falls Town Board held their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, but before that could take place – a public hearing on the preliminary budget was held.

Only two speakers were present.

A miscommunication, or a misprint in the Finger Lakes Times — resulted in many in Seneca Falls to believe that the public hearing on the preliminary budget would be held at 7 pm.

As it turns out — the board agreed that the public hearing was advertised as taking place at 6 pm.

Brad Jones, former Seneca Falls Mayor was one of the two speakers who addressed the board during the public hearing.

Jones made a compelling argument for the Town to reduce it’s spending by at least 10 percent, which he pointed out would save the board nearly $950,000.

“Spending is out of control,” Jones continued. “Just four to five years ago New York State advised the previous Town Boards that they had too much in reserves; now it’s the complete opposite — the reserves are depleted.”

He also asked why Town employees should be spared increasing healthcare costs — if the rest of the community is saddled with increases. “Town employees need to pay their fair share,” he closed.

One of the other speakers during the public hearing looked at the “working poor,” and how they would be impacted by a significant increase in taxes – if spending is not curbed.

The overall theme of the budget hearing focused on spending. The budget, which was posed for public consumption at Tuesday’s hearing – left many wondering how much saving was actually happening.

In other action later that evening – during regular session – the board decided not to move on the preliminary budget and scheduled two more public workshops for the board to evaluate the entire budget.

The two sessions were established for the following dates, which will double as special meetings:

  • Monday, November 7th at 5 pm. That session will be held at the Seneca Falls Community Center.
  • Thursday, November 10th at 6 pm, which will be held in the Seneca Falls Town Board meeting room on Bayard Street.

In other action during the regularly scheduled board meeting:

  • Seneca Falls Police Chief Stuart Peenstra honored three officers for their life saving efforts over the past several months. Three officers were involved in incidents, which resulted in life saving measures being taken. According to Peenstra, it was due to their quick acting that resulted in those lives being saved.One incident involved an overdose, while another involved a heart attack victim. Officer Craig Reynolds, who administered NARCAN to a victim, who was suffering from an overdose after a car crash. It was his 10th life saving recognition with the Town of Seneca Falls. The other incident involved Brad Clouston, Bethany Kidd, and Shawn Peck who responded to an incident — finding a 59-year-old male suffering from what appeared to be a heart attack.
  • Jim Peterson, Seneca Falls Highway Superintendent thanked his staff for helping the water department take care of some roadwork, which resulted from a series of water main breaks over the last two months.
  • One additional water main break was reported on Halloween. Crews were left working on the break, which occurred on Clinton Street until 4:30 am, according to an update given to the board.
  • The board approved the sale of 10 Fall Street for $75,000, and also approved the purchase of new LED lights for the Bridge Street bridge.

Check back later for the entire video from both the public hearing and regular meeting.

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