Supervisors take first crack at budget today

NORWICH – The Chenango County Board of Supervisors met this morning after press time and no doubt took a first crack at cutting back or finding additional revenue for the draft 2011 budget of $84.1 million.

The proposed budget is a 4.1 percent increase over last year’s spending plan. Chenango County Treasurer William B. Evans has recommended using almost $3.7 million in reserves, and the resulting levy – $23 million – calls for an average of $12.73 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Of all the measures discussed in committee meetings leading up to today’s presentation – including privatization of services and the consolidation of departments – perhaps the most controversial was the suggestion of dissolving the county highway department.

Finance Committee Vice Chairman Dennis Brown, D-Pharsalia, broached the possibility at the committee’s final budgeting session a week ago. He suggested contracting with the towns to service and maintain the county’s roads and bridges and plow them in the winter.

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