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NT: AIM funding should be restored

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Tue, Feb 9th 2021 02:30 pm

From the Office of Mayor Arthur Pappas:

There has been some confusion and misinformation out there regarding the AIM funding for the city. Here are the bullet points regarding AIM funding and the steps we took as a city:

Background: Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) funding is the unrestricted state aid that cities and villages in New York receive from the state, and such aid is distributed annually via the state budget. This year, Gov. Cuomo proposed a cut in AIM funding to municipalities in Niagara County by $1,709,462. Specifically, North Tonawanda’s funding is to be cut from FY21 enacted budget of $4,335,111 (does not include the impact of withholdings during the year) to $3,468,089, a decrease of $867,022.

The governor’s proposed budget presents “The Budget equitably reduces the amount of Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) for cities in New York State based on their reliance, calculated as a percentage of the total city budget. Payments will be reduced by 2.5 percent for those cities with the highest reliance on AIM, and up to 20 percent for those who have the least reliance.”

North Tonawanda approved a FY2021 budget that, if altered negatively, will drive potential cuts in services and personnel and impact resident’s quality of life. This could include all departments – including health and safety, which impacts police and fire. Therefore, the NYS government must reconsider the governor’s current budget proposal of these drastic reductions to the North Tonawanda’s AIM funding.

As far as the action we took as a city:

Teleconference with Assemblyman William Conrad’s office on Jan. 28, requesting our assistance with letters of support with North Tonawanda associations based on Gov. Cuomo's proposed cuts to North Tonawanda’s AIM funding. There was never a discussion of a missed file report. We followed up this discussion speaking directly to Sen. Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Angelo Morinello.

Council President Robert Pecoraro filed a late communication Common Council resolution on Feb. 2, requesting the city clerk forward a certified copy of this resolution to the governor and all of our state representatives. This resolution passed unanimously. In addition, the resolution requested the mayor invite the North Tonawanda Police Benevolent Association (PBA) to write the NYS PBA; the North Tonawanda Fire Department to write to Fireman’s Association of the State of NY (FASNY); employees associated with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Civil Service Employee Association (CSEA), and the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) write to their state representatives. These letters have been submitted.

Final conclusion: NYS gave municipalities until May to file their missing reports. North Tonawanda’s report was filed on Dec. 1, 2020, and, therefore, our AIM funding should be restored. 

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