County hearing draws sole speaker

Published Oct 12, 2017 at 4:00pm

The Oneida County Board of Legislators’ first public hearing on the  $407.8 million budget the county executive has proposed for 2018 drew only one taker on Wednesday.

April Bliss, director of Dunham Public Library, Whitesboro, turned out to express appreciation for the county’s continued financial support of libraries.

“I just wanted to say thank you,” she said during her remarks in the legislative chamber in the County Office Building.

In her brief comments, she told the legislators that libraries serve as community centers. “And thank you for realizing that we’re important,” said Bliss.

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. proposes $744,141 in direct contributions to the 22 libraries in the county and the Mid York Library System next year. This amount is the same as this year. ​In addition, Picente said in his budget address that the county will work with the library system on three programs next year. They are: digital and ebook collections; books for babies; and free books for summer reading initiatives.

There will be two more chances for the public to give their views on the spending plan before legislators adopt a spending plan. Picente proposes no increase in the amount of money collected in property taxes in 2018.

The remaining two public hearings are: Nov. 2, 7 p.m., Rome Courthouse; and Nov. 6, 7 p.m., County Office Building Utica. The Board of Legislators is expected to adopt a budget at its Nov. 8 meeting.