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Town & Village leaders expressing concerns about AIM funding cuts

HASTINGS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Town and Village leaders across New York are calling on Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers to restore so-called AIM funding in the new state budget.

AIM or Aid and Incentives to Municipalities is allocated based on a town's total population. The Town of Hastings, which has about 9,200 residents has received $54,295 for the past two years, but in 2019 that money isn't guaranteed.

"It's like knowing you're getting 500 a week for a paycheck and the boss says guess what I'm knocking 50 dollars from your paycheck," said Hastings Town Supervisor, Tony Bush.

Since 2011, AIM funding has totaled $715 million statewide. Bush explained for most supervisors and mayors its guaranteed money, that is planned into budgets every year.

In order to make up a portion of New York's $2.3 billion shortfall, Governor Cuomo has proposed cutting funding to municipalities whose total AIM amount is 2% of their total budget or less. Bush said regardless of the amount of money, towns will have to make up the gap by either raising taxes or making cuts.

"From the smallest town or village in this state to the largest it's an equal event. There's only one way to make up $54,000 we have to cut something and when you cut something it's never good," said Bush.

Bush speculated that big budget items like the Hastings Highway Department could see cuts if the plan goes through, but other towns and villages might be forced to make even bigger changes.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo said that AIM cuts may be considered on a case by case basis, but for now, the $60 million saving measure is still in the state budget.

In total 1,328 of New York's 1,465 towns and villages or 90.6% could see their AIM funding eliminated. The Village of Solvay is at risk of losing about $173,000, Sullivan (Madison County) $96,000 and the Town of Clay $416,000.

To see how much AIM funding your town receives click here.

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