BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ideas, concerns and a letter to be written. That's what came out of Wednesday's roundtable meeting organized by New York State Assemblymember Monica Wallace who was joined by other local elected officials. The topic? State cuts in Aid and Incentive to Municipalities (AIM) funding. Their plan is to craft a letter for the governor, hoping to restore the proposed, funding cuts.
“It’s a significant cut and it’s a cut that municipalities in our community really cannot afford," says Wallace. “The essential services we really upon, we may have to cut back on.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo's new 2019-2020 budget proposal calls to remove $60 million worth of AIM funding, roughly $4.5 million of which would be lost for Western New York.
“Cities actually have a zero funding cut, it’s just villages and towns who are being asked to bear the brunt of this and I don’t think that’s a fair way to allocate budget tightening throughout the state," says Wallace.
Towns like North Collins will be losing $22,000 of their already low $2 million budget.
“It could impact recreation, it could impact our parks, it could impact different programs that we have in our town," North Collins Town Supervisor, John Tobia says. “We have resilient people in our town, no matter what happens we will get through it and make it bigger and better no matter what.”
Other elected officials said the cut funding will affect infrastructure and community work costs. If the fudning isn't restored, Town of Tonawanda Supervisor, Joe Emminger says the answer would be raise taxes or cut services.
To view what your town or village may be losing in AIM funding click here.