The plan includes utilizing some $800,000 collected from county residents through a $28-per-household solid waste fee. Supporters of that transfer argued that the county is simply recovering subsidies it has provided over the years to solid waste programs. Lindberg, however, said it was highly inappropriate to use that money for anything for trash programs. The board also received a letter from former county Rep. Alex Shields of Richfield Springs, who vowed to urge state authorities to probe the transfer.
The county’s fiscal predicament this year has been exacerbated by shrinking revenue and rising costs at the Otsego Manor nursing home, whose county subsidy would rise in the new budget to $5.5 million, up from $3.3 million in 2012. The county’s pension obligations for its retirees has also risen sharply.