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Broome Budget Proposed Funding Cuts Challenged

Broome County government seal

Broome County Executive Debra Preston’s proposed budget is facing plenty of criticism on a number of fronts.

At an October 10 public hearing, dozens of residents were on hand to voice their opinions, from bus drivers to farmers to members of the arts community.

Cuts to Cornell Cooperative Extension totaling more than $52,000 had local farmers and even participants in the 4-H program crying ‘foul’. Some speakers questioned whether the county actually appreciates the impact the local agriculture industry has on Broome’s economy.

Speakers said a $15,000 reduction in arts funding could hamper not only cultural, but also educational programs.

The looming possibility of the privatization of the transit service and nursing also came up, even though privatizing any agency is not actually included in the proposal.

Adding to the complexities of putting together a multi-million dollar county budget, lawmakers are dealing with a drop in revenue from the hotel/motel tax.

Another budget hearing is planned for the 14th. That session will examine any changes made to the original proposal by legislators.

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