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Local News

January 26, 2013

Manor plan hinges on tax hike, union

(Continued)

“There is no simple miracle answer,” Crowell said, noting the Kosmer plan would have to be embraced by workers who would be consenting to pay cuts and reduced benefits.

Maureen Culbert of Springfield, a volunteer advocate for Manor residents and the driving force behind a grassroots campaign to persuade the county board to drop the privatization plan, called Kosmer’s plan “a great

effort.”

“I hope we all can work together to save the Manor and keep the Manor county-owned and operated,” she said, noting the 1,800 county residents have signed a petition, urging the county to continue operating the Manor. Her local county representative, Keith McCarty, R-Springfield, was the lone board member to oppose privatization and the first to come out for an increase in the local sales tax.

The Manor’s county subsidy last year stood was $3.3 million. It is expected to grow to $5.6 million this year. Even if the county were to complete the privatization move, it would still be saddled with “legacy costs” of about $2 million a year for the next five years, Kosmer said.

He reasoned that an annual county subsidy of $2.4 million a year is “doable” in light of the fact the privatization option would keep the county on the hook for $2 million in annual legacy costs.

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