Municipal leaders relieved AIM funding restored

AIM was previously threatened to be eliminated

Mike Baggerman
April 02, 2019 - 3:00 am

AMHERST, N.Y. (WBEN) - Aid and Incentives to Municipalities, otherwise known as AIM funding, was something that was on the chopping block in the New York State budget negotiations by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Ultimately, AIM funding was restored but it had supervisors like Amherst's Brian Kulpa on edge.

"AIM funding is for the Town of Amherst $660,000 per year," Kulpa told WBEN. "It's been a static number for some time. The issue becomes we rely on that money to offset maintenance in our infrastructure. Without that funding, we'd have to make up $660,000.

Kulpa agreed with our assertion that AIM's elimination plus a property tax cap at two percent would've been difficult for the community because of the potential lost revenue.

The Town of Tonawanda was in a similar situation. Supervisor Joe Emminger said the town uses $600,000 in AIM funding each year. Despite AIM funding's restoration by the state, he still has concerns about the future.

"Is this going to be held over the heads of municipalities every year?" Emminger asked. "Do we budget for it? Do we not budget for it? It becomes very problematic and that people in Albany really need to find a way to find a permanent solution for this to take place."

While AIM funding was restored, there were cuts to the extreme winter recovery fund, according to Assemblyman Angelo Morinello. The The Town of Amherst used approximately $108.476.34 in funding in 2018 and 2019. Kulpa explained these funds are based on the conditions of the winter and how much damage was sustained.

"It's disappointing it wasn't fully funded," Kulpa siad. "At the end of the day, everybody's got a trade off. We're better off with the AIM funding and we still have the CHIPS package, which is how the state's offset for the wear and tear on town roads. Those two things are, by far, my biggest concerns."


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