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Local News

February 25, 2013

Local officials uncertain of cuts impact

(Continued)

Cuts to social programs affect the most vulnerable families and children, she said. She didn’t know the extent of what was planned, but “these families are all part of the economic cycle.”

Sidney Central School Superintendent Bill Christensen said the impact is hard to figure out because possible cuts to programs such as special education and academic intervention go to the state, and “then it trickles down to us. It’s unknown what we will see at the local level.” 

He said he doesn’t think the final results will be as bad as first recommended, but “any cuts will make the funding gap bigger (for future budgets).”

SUNY Delhi Director of Financial Aid Nancy Hughes said, “We don’t have a lot of details or information.”

The Pell Grant, the major federal student aid program, won’t be affected this year but could be in the future if the cuts go through, she said.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller said, “We are looking at the situation but haven’t really determined what the outcome will be.”

While he is focused on what is going on in Albany, “I don’t pay very much attention to what goes in Washington,” he said. However, if there are cuts, “There certainly will be a trickle down.”

Opportunities for Otsego Executive Director Dan Maskin said, “I hope it doesn’t happen but in this (political) environment we don’t really know.”

He said he does not know any specifics of what is being considered, so he could not speculate on whether any jobs could be impacted. Most of his agencies federal contracts are funded through the end of March. His “gut reaction” is that Congress may deal with the problem temporarily.

The Otsego County Chamber recognizes that the whole country is going to be affected by any implemented sequestration cuts, Executive Director Barbara Ann Heegan said in a statement: “Our local economy could be influenced by these mandatory cuts with the possibility of reducing public and private sector employment. The uncertainty of where the sequestration may lead the local economy is leaving businesses feeling unsettled.”

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