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Onondaga County villages to receive more funding over the next decade

Ellen Abbott
Onondaga County officials discuss a proposal to increase funding to villages Wednesday in Syracuse. From left: Skaneateles Mayor Marty Hubbard, Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson, Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon, County Legislature Chairman Dave Knapp

Onondaga County has worked out a deal to provide increased funding to villages over the next decade. 

This enhanced village improvement program will allocate millions of dollars to the 15 village governments within Onondaga County, based on their size.

The first funds would be available in 2020.

Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson said this is important at a time when village budgets are strapped, especially when it comes to paying for infrastructure improvements.

"Right now we have a street to pave, and we just can’t afford to pave the whole street." Olson said. "It’s $100,000 and it would be all of our CHIPS [Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program] funding. This gives us an additional $80,000 that we’re able to do those types of projects.”

Village budgets have taken a hit in recent years between Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax cap and the last county sales tax revenue agreement. This deal replaces one that was devised after a controversial sales tax sharing deal 10 years ago that favored the city of Syracuse. This announcement comes as the county and city are negotiating the next 10-year sales tax agreement. 

The Onondaga County legislature has the final say, and legislature chairman Dave Knapp is confident it will be approved.

"We look forward to discussing this in the legislature," Knapp said. "There’s general support for this and I don’t see it as a big problem with it going forward.”

In the first year of the program, villages would share $5.25 million, and it would increase to six million in 2029.