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Governor’s proposal would make harder for villages to operate in NY

Ontario County villages will see reductions in state aid, if Gov. Cuomo’s budget proposal goes through

State funding of $16,219 would be just enough money to pay for laying 500 feet of sidewalk or planting about 20 trees in the village of Clifton Springs.

Clifton Springs, New York.

If it was coming this way, which as of now, it won’t be.

“It may not sound like a lot to the governor,” Mayor William Hunter said. “But it’s a lot to our municipal services.”

The eight Ontario County villages — including Clifton Springs — stand to lose out on more than $95,000 collectively if Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2019-20 budget is approved as is.

The governor’s budget proposal eliminates Aid and Incentives to Municipalities funding, or AIM, for 480 of the 531 villages.

“He’s giving tens of millions to education, which nobody is opposed to,” Hunter said. “He’s probably taking it from us.”

Those villages whose AIM funding is less than 2 percent of their 2017 expenditures are affected.

Victor stands to lose $14,471, which is about 0.28 percent of its budget.

“I get that we fall into their criteria,” said Victor Mayor Gary Hadden. “It’s easier for them to say it’s not significant. That’s an arbitrary statement. This is more of an impact than they’re willing to admit to.”

According to figures from the New York State Conference of Mayors (NYCOM), the villages of Shortsville and Clifton Springs stand to lose out on the highest amount, at $17,860 and $16,219, respectively. Shortsville’s AIM funding makes up 1.15 percent of its budget.

The governor’s budget fails to abide by its theme of “justice,” as it would eliminate aid for the vast majority of New York’s smallest local governments, said NYCOM Executive Director Peter A. Baynes in a prepared statement.

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