Frank Tallarino, who is the minority leader of the Democrat Caucus of the Oneida County Board of Legislators, is speaking out against the announcement of a $500,000 storm mitigation fund by County Executive Anthony Picente.
"This media event was nothing more than a political ploy on the part of the Republicans and the county executive," Tallarino said. "It's evident that this announcement was staged just prior to the primary in an attempt to convince the public that Mr. D'Onofrio had obtained taxpayer dollars to assist the Town of New Hartford.
"The funding should be spent on projects that were not created as a result of insufficient planning on the part of the town," Tallarino said. "Further, this funding is not a political football designed to benefit one specific community or politician, it is to be used for all municipalities within the county.
"County taxpayer dollars should not be expended on a municipality that did not do due diligence and should not be spent on only a very limited number of projects," Tallarino said." That is why I and Legislator (Brian) Mandryck are offering suggested administrative policies which will place a cap of $75,000 on project funding levels. This cap will assure that a greater number of municipalities are able to apply for project assistance.
"Mr. Mandryck researched and determined that FEMA projects require the municipalities to provide a 25 percent match when FEMA provides 75 percent. The $75,000 cap provides for a municipality to add their match for a total of $150,000, which will result in a total project value of $600,000
"The suggested policies will ensure that the experts at Oneida County Soil & Water are utilized to develop numerous remediation projects all over the county and is the best approach to this funding plan and expenditure of taxpayer dollars," Tallarino said.