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FREDONIA Making noise can have benefits

The OBSERVER's View

Voices of the people still matter when it comes to local government. Within days after unveiling a proposed Fredonia budget that included a 17% property tax increase, Mayor Doug Essek had a change of heart after hearing plenty of criticism through social media and around town.

He sent trustees a revised budget that included a smaller tax hike. “Information concerning the Local Aid in the American Rescue Plan of 2021 has been made available recently,” Essek said on March 26. “Guidelines for the Use of Funds, section C, is a provision that allows the use of funds to the extent of the reduction in revenues seen due to COVID-19. The reduction in revenues is calculated by comparing current revenues to the most recent full fiscal year. The use of the stimulus money can replace these lost revenues.”

How trustees will use those funds is still up for debate. Tonight, after more than a week of examination, a public hearing on the more than $10.5 million plan will take place at 6 p.m. via video conference.

About $1.9 million is coming the village’s way through the second COVID rescue plan approved last month. That’s small consolation for a government that has made plenty of poor spending choices in recent decades.

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