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Armored Vehicle Purchase Approved By OC Board


A better revenue picture helped Oneida county supervisors put together a 2015 budget at the first night meeting held by the board in many years. But it all didn't go smoothly.

The most controversial item involved  an armored vehicle for the Sheriff's department. Spurred by what Sheriff Grady Hartman called a one-time opportunity to get a grant to cover part of the $275,000 cost, the request was for the county to contribute $100,000 for the device used to protect officers during serious incidents. Hartman says they could sell the current one for about $60,000. Hartman said the current one still works...

"....at some point in the future we're going to need to replace that vehicle. Do we have to do it this year? The answer is no...but you can only kick the can down the road so far..."

Several other counties have access to the vehicle if the need arises. But some supervisors questioned why the other counties get to use the vehicle Oneida county pays for for free. Hartman says there's an agreement between counties. Supervisor Alan Van Raalte asked the $100,000 be removed from the budget, saying the vehicle didn't need replacing..

"....the current vehicle has less than 13,000 miles on it and less than 500 hours of operation and has been serviced regularly..."
Supervisor Tom Kelly said if it saved one life it was worth the cost, but supervisor Scott Holowinski said he had heard from many people in Sugar Camp who opposed  the purchase. Members of the public said they opposed the expenditure to not militarize the local police.

The vote to approve the $100,000 for the vehicle was 10 in favor, 8 opposed.

Two items that had been cut from the budget, $5,000 for the Oneida County Humane Society and $4,000 for the Oneida County Fair were restored. . When all the numbers were crunched, the property tax rose 1.2 percent. The budget is about 2.6 million dollars below the 2014 expense at $50.3 million dollars. The rate was set at 232 dollars on a $100,000 dollar house, a dollar higher than last year.

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