DANSVILLE — More than 170 mayors across the state met in the capital for the NY Conference of Mayors.
On Feb. 11 Dansville Mayor Peter Vogt joined 175 other mayors in the state at this conference to talk about local state aid.
Vogt told Genesee Country Express the highlights of the conference, and what the impact would mean locally.
“For the village the biggest issue is the loss of state aid. If the governor’s proposal goes through we would have a loss of $40,000 to the village,” he said. “This is an important issue for the village. We can use the money for someone’s salary to do work in the village, or any other kind of project we need it for.”
Vogt mentioned the village still has access to CHIPS that pays for the highway improvement program.
Other projects in the village however need the Aid Incentives for Municipalities, or AIM. Those who will be mostly affected by the loss will be small communities.
Vogt said that another topic of interest at the conference was legalizing adult use marijuana.
“The county would make the choice on growth and manufacturing. The villages would make the choice on legalizing its use,” he said.
Vogt said the village board will work on the budget, and go with a backup plan if they lose the AIM funds. This normally would mean raising taxes or cutting services.
This conference was a way for mayors to urge Legislators to not accept the governor’s proposal to cut funds to some 1,300 municipalities.
NYCOM members could also vote on increasing highway aid and providing cities and villages with a share of taxes imposed on the cannabis industry.
“This Legislative Meeting not only allows mayors from across the state to collaborate and find creative ways to solves problems our communities face, but it demonstrates our collective influence as we speak with one voice about the need for a state partner in solving challenges facing New York,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said.
“The proposal to eliminate AIM funding should be dead on arrival to the Legislature. In the past weeks, we’ve heard mayors, legislators and citizens speak out against this proposal to gut an important program that allows municipalities to provide essential local services while staying under the tax cap. Cutting this funding will have a detrimental effect on quality of life and taxes in over 1,300 communities in the state,” Freeport Mayor Bob Kennedy said.
NYCOM emphasizes the importance of state reinvestment.