Although Hamburg Town Supervisor Steven Walters said Monday that the push to restore video lottery gaming revenue to its 2008-09 levels is not over, he was happy to report that there will be an increase in funding from the state to the town in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state budget.
Walters said during Monday’s (March 25) meeting that there will be a nearly 20 percent increase in state aid as its share will increase about $122,450. Hamburg currently receives $557,000 in video lottery gaming revenue from the Hamburg Casino.
“The fight’s not over,” Walters said.
However, he expressed his gratitude towards State Sen. Mark Grisanti and Assembly Sean Ryan for their efforts in seeing that the town did receive a larger portion of the revenue than it had in the last couple of years.
In 2011, Cuomo’s budget led to the Town of Hamburg’s portion being cut approxmately $600,000.
Walters told the board that it was his understanding that Grisanti made it a personal mission of his to see that the funding be restored.
Although Walters noted he is still hopeful that eventually the funding will return to at least the 2008-09 levels, he is pleased with the start.
Ryan said in a press release that he will continue to fight for the funding to be fully restored.
“I am pleased that the Town of Hamburg will be receiving additional aid in this year’s state budget,” Ryan said. “While I continue to push my legislation that would fully restore funding to 08-09 levels, this is a good step in the right direction. Municipalities that host video lottery facilities face increased costs including extra police presence and more frequent road repairs, and New York is right to assist them with these additional costs.”
Walters said this will likely be viewed as unanticipated revenue and expects the money to be placed in the fund balance. The supervisor said there are no specific projects earmarked for the money in 2013, but by placing it in the fund balance, it will help tax rates remain lower in the town in future budgets.
In other board news:
• Town Councilman Joseph Collins, the liaison to the town’s Rejuvenation Committee, said plans are underway for the annual Town Wide Cleanup.
That is scheduled to take place Saturday, May 4.
• Walters said the Easter Egg Hunt at Woodlawn Beach State Park on Sunday, March 24, was a success.
• Martin C. Denecke, director of recreation, told the board that Eighteen Mile Creek Golf Course will be open for the season very soon. Weather permitting, possibly as soon as April 1, but he added that is “doubtful.”
• The Hamburg Town Board will hold its next meeting, beginning with a work session at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 8 at Hamburg Town Hall. A regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.