Oneida County Executive, Anthony Picente, Jr., delivered his 2020 budget address Friday morning. In the audience -- between 100 and 200 people, including the legislature and department heads.
The budget is approximately $439 million; $19 million more than last year. For the seventh year in a row, taxes hold steady. Funding to libraries increases 6 percent across the board. The plan provides $1.2 million for the county's Opioid Task Force, $150,000 for an Animal Protection Fund that will suport efforts of the Stevens-Swan Humane Society, Rome Humane Society and Spring Farm Cares, and $100,000 to put cameras in school buses.
"I don't see why this isn't something that couldn't be in place as early as January as far as the law goes," said Picente, of an accompanying law and punishments.
Picente said that, thanks to two major projects: the downtown hospital and silicon carbide wafer manufacturing plant, the county's landscape could look much different in the near future.
"Over the next few years, new faces, new people with license plates from states across America and passports from around the world will be coming to our community. Some will be coming to play in a weekend tournament at Nexus. Some will come to help build a new hospital or work in a new fab," said Picente, adding that construction could begin on the Nexus Sportsplex by the end of the year.
Picente says, thanks to recent growth and progress, some of those faces have been and will be familiar.
"For the first time in modern history, young people are moving back to our community. Our county is one of only a very few in upsate New York that can make that claim," he said.
He hadn't yet seen the entire budget, but the Legislative Minority Leader liked what he heard at Picente's budget address.
"Not only is the community growing with permanent jobs, the trades will flourish for so many years with the activities going on," said Phillip Sacco.
The legislature will vote on the budget proposal Nov. 13.