Weekly Feature

2018-11-08 / Local News

Town Board poised for budget vote


The Cheektowaga Town Council appears set to approve a 2019 spending plan, which came in at approximately $92.6 million in Supervisor Diane Benczkowski’s tentative budget, at its Nov. 13 meeting, although final details could still be tweaked.

Under the terms of the plan, taxpayers would pay about $17.40 more per $100,000 of assessed value compared to their 2018 town tax bill. The tax levy would increase to a little more than $68 million, an approximately 1.10 percent jump.

At Tuesday’s board work session, council members discussed some potential final revisions, including moving $60,000 marked for Catholic Charities’ Student Intervention Services program to a contingency line. The council hopes to eventually use those funds for new opioid and mental health initiatives in the Cheektowaga Police Department, after board members are briefed on the prospective programs in the coming days.

The tentative budget originally called for slashing the SIS budget by more than $53,000, to the $60,000 number seen in the tentative plan, but with the original cut set to affect the program so severely, council members decided that moving the remaining money to other areas made more sense.

Catholic Charities had lobbied to restore funding for the program, which is administered through Cheektowaga’s school districts and provides students and their families with counseling and access to other services such as emergency food assistance and more specialized chemical dependency and psychiatric care.

Any other changes to the budget would need to be submitted by the end of the week, so that they could be implemented before the budget resolution is written up prior to next week’s meeting, which will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the Council Chambers of Town Hall, 3301 Broadway. The budget must be submitted to Erie County by Tuesday, Nov. 20.

email: bjackson@beenews.com

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