MAYVILLE – A tentative 2014 budget was approved Wednesday by members of the Chautauqua County Legislature.
Two public hearings and debate over several amendments preceded the final motion that set the budget with an overall tax decrease of 2 cents from the 2013 rate. The proposed rate would be $9.13 per $1,000 of assessed value, with a tax levy of $62,526,004.
The budget presented by County Executive Gregory Edwards in September would have set the tax rate at $9.15.
Edwards had proposed $500,000 for the Office for the Aging. Committee members cut it completely before deciding to restore half of it.
The amendment to restore the $250,000 was made by Legislator Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point. There also was an amendment on the floor to restore the entire $500,000. However, that amendment was defeated.
Horrigan defended his compromise amendment as having long-term benefits by reducing the amount of Medicaid services that seniors may require in the future. According to Office for the Aging Director Mary Ann Spanos, the funding will help provide home services, including Meals-on-Wheels, for an additional 200 seniors who have been on a waiting list.
A resolution to add funding to the budget for the Chautauqua County Home was defeated. Legislators will be asked to decide on the potential sale of the Dunkirk skilled nursing facility at a special meeting next Wednesday. Under a proposed $16.5 million sale, the facility would be run by a private company..
The tentative budget approved Wednesday also reduced funds to the Medicaid account. The plan will go to the county executive for final approval.