Picente and Timpano: Oneida County Finishes 2009 $1,071,906 Under Budget

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. and Oneida County Comptroller Joseph J. Timpano today announced that Oneida County finished its 2009 fiscal year $1,071,906 under budget.

“While this is good news for the taxpayers of Oneida County especially when considering the state of the economy and the lethargic pace with which it is rebounding, we must continue to move forward cautiously and conservatively,” Picente said. “The retirement incentive that was offered to our employees helped to reduce positions without layoffs as well as decreasing the payroll by bringing new employees in at entry-level pay. However, this overall budget was aided greatly by the Federal stimulus money and is one of the main reasons we were able to close 2009 in the black.”
 
Timpano said that by staying under budget, County Government was able to reduce the amount used from its fund balance, which helps improve the County’s fiscal position in 2010 and beyond. “By taking less from our reserves, by watching what we spend, and by holding down costs, we are able to put the County in a better fiscal position going forward. Unlike counties that have been in a fiscal free fall due to uncontrolled spending and severely decreasing sales tax revenues, we are in a sound position to continue to provide essential programs and services.”
 
“It is important to realize that we cannot continue to draw down our fund balance as our reserves are almost depleted,” Picente said. “We do not want to end up in a situation similar to New Hartford and Whitestown and have no other option other than a large property tax increase. As Medicaid continues to rise without significant reform, we need to be mindful that the stimulus dollars will soon run out and that will leave a significant hole in our budget.”
 
Picente said that Oneida County’s fiscal 2009 showing highlights the county’s ability to manage in difficult times. “This result is really an outstanding tribute to all the people who helped to keep this budget under control at the departmental level and in our Budget, Finance and Comptroller’s offices. This outcome does not mean that we are out of financial trouble but it shows that we are on the right track to make this county financially strong.”
 
These numbers are subject to audit but we do not expect to see a change.