UTICA, N.Y.(WKTV) - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Jr. is preparing to deliver a difficult 2011 budget proposal to the Oneida County Board of Legislators this afternoon.
The proposal includes 70 layoffs in various departments, including Oneida County Sheriff's Department road patrol, corrections, public works and social services- - a department which in years past has been very understaffed, with child protective case workers handling more cases than their union leadership said they should have been.
Picente says the layoffs are necessary because the four unions which represent county workers have refused to agree to a wage freeze for the upcoming year. Those unions have not returned our calls over the past several days.
In addition to layoffs, some local not-for-profit agencies will see their funding cut; still others will see their county funding entirely eliminated. What could be growing, however, are your phone bills. The 2011 budget proposal includes a $.35 surcharge per month on every cell phone and a $.70 surcharge on landlines.
Details of the budget are embargoed, or not able to be released until after 3pm Wednesday, at which time the full County Board of Legislators will have had a chance to review it. They will vote on it November 10th.