Yates County Legislators have adopted the 2020 budget which, according to Budget Officer Nonie Flynn, calls for the lowest tax rate since 2012 at $5.99 per $1,000 of  a property’s assessed value.

The total amount to be raised by local property taxes is $16.5 million.

There were no comments from those who attended a public hearing Nov. 21, but there were some debates between legislators as additions to the spending plan were proposed.

The first was offered by Dan Banach, who represents the District 3 (Milo). His motion would have added $20,000 to the budget to go to the Village of Penn Yan to help pay the cost of lifeguard salaries at the village’s parks. With Bill Holgate and Bonnie Percy, both of District 4 (Barrington and Starkey); Ed Bronson of District 1 and Terry Button of District 2 among those voicing opposition, Banach’s motion failed with only the District 3 legislators casting “aye” votes.

Banach argued that people from other areas of the county use the village parks and the summer recreation programs that include swimming. Holgate noted that children in the Dundee recreation program go to the Watkins Glen State Park for the swimming program, not even using the Penn Yan parks anymore.

A motion offered by Bronson to add $20,000 to the line item for summer recreation programs was passed with only Elden Morrison (District 1) and Terry Button (District 2) voting no. The funds will be distributed to all of the county’s summer recreation programs with the Human Services committee determining the appropriations.

Another $24,272 was added in various line items as recommended by Flynn with no opposition, and a motion to transfer funds from the fund balance to cover those additions was unanimously approved.

A motion to add $100,000 to the contingency fund from the fund balance was also unanimously approved. Chairman Douglas Paddock said the $100,000 will be used to cover some potential increases that may be incurred.

Other business on the legislature’s agenda Nov. 21 included three resolutions to create and fill two positions in the District Attorney’s office and one in the Sheriff’s office. District 3 Legislator Carlie Chilson cast the lone no vote against the confidential secretary and law enforcement liaison position in the DA’s office. Morrison cast the lone no vote against the sheriff’s investigator position. The Assistant DA position was unanimously approved.

All three positions are being added to the county’s workforce because of the anticipated increased workload in the DA’s office and the Sheriff’s office related to statewide criminal justice reforms.