Cohocton Wind Watch: Lewis County Struggles With Big Budget Woes
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.


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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lewis County Struggles With Big Budget Woes



You can add Lewis County to the list of New York counties that are having big budget problems.

Not only is Lewis County dealing with a decrease in sales tax revenue and a lack of information about how much state aid it will receive, it's also dealing with the loss of a major money maker.

The Maple Ridge Wind Farm has paid the county up to $2.1 million annually.

However, Maple Ridge recently lost its certification as part of the state's Empire Development Zone, which means it lost critical tax breaks and other business incentives.

The state saved $9.2 million by yanking the wind farm's certification.

Now Lewis County is expected to receive only $500,000 from Maple Ridge instead of $2.1 million.

While Maple Ridge appeals the loss of certification, the county is trying to figure out how to balance its budget.

"When I said we're in a quandary, that's exactly what we are. This is the very, very preliminary start of the budget," said County Legislature Chair Jack Bush.

County officials say the wind farm makes up 20 percent of its tax levy.

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