July 13, 2010


Vetoes mean funding cuts for local agencies

College, youth bureau, child care centers face loss of tens of thousands of dollars

CutsBob Ellis/staff photographer
Miya Hyde, left, and Kirsten Merritt, children in the CAPCO-YMCA Summer Camp, make music on the playground at the Cortland YMCA on Tompkins Street. The YMCA and other local organizations have had state earmarks from previous budget years vetoed by Gov. David Paterson. The YMCA escaped the funding cut because it had already spent the money on renovations.

Staff Reporter

Earmarks from previously approved state budgets that Governor David Paterson vetoed last week could cut funding for a few local organizations, including SUNY Cortland, the Cortland County Youth Bureau, Access to Independence and others.
The affected groups would either have to find other ways to fund projects now in the works or cancel them. The YMCA of Cortland County has already spent its earmark and would not be affected.
The list of vetoes includes:
l $50,000 for SUNY Cortland;
l $40,000 for the Cortland County YMCA;
l $35,000 in two items for the Onondaga-Cortland-Madison BOCES Library System;
l $20,000 for the Cortland County Child Development Day Care Program;
l $20,000 for the Cortland County Youth Bureau;
l $20,000 for the Cortland College Childrens Center;
l $10,000 for Access to Independence of Cortland County.
A list of the vetoes on Governor Paterson’s state website says that some of the items were disapproved because they “represent an unconstitutional alteration of an appropriation contained in the Executive Budget submission.”
It also says that appropriation bills passed by the Legislature include numerous items that “will adversely impact the State’s capacity to maintain a properly balanced budget, provide for adequate fiscal reserves and ensure manageable out-year budget gaps.”
Emanuel Lann, director of the Cortland County Youth Bureau, said the $20,000 funding bill was split up between the Cortland County Youth Bureau and the town of Virgil’s youth program.
Lann said the county Youth Bureau used a large portion of $5,000 on a program to address youth obesity by sending people to local school districts to talk about fitness and health.
Lann said Paterson’s veto could be a problem for the county’s budget if it stands.
“I’d have to look at our budget and see where and how we can do (fund) it,” Lann said. “Private donations could make up for some of it.”
John McNerney, executive director of the Cortland Youth Bureau, said the city department will probably have to cancel one of its two outdoor movie nights if the veto stands.
The city will hold its first movie night in Sugget Park on Thursday.
The second movie night, scheduled for Aug. 14 in Courthouse Park, might need to be canceled, McNerney said.
The movie nights cost about $1,500 each, McNerney said, adding that it is too late to cancel the movie night scheduled for Thursday.
Pete Koryzno, a spokesman for SUNY Cortland, was not sure Monday what the earmarks were intended for or how the vetoes would impact the college and its children’s center.
The YMCA of Cortland County would not be affected by the veto because it has already received and spent the state funding, said Don Kline, executive director of the organization.
Kline said the YMCA used the $40,000 to renovate its lobby and build a community room where it will hold meetings and allow other local groups to meet.


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