Assembly restores AIM funding; faces Senate and Gov approval

ALBANY – The Aid and Incentives to Municipalities funding – a vital source of funding for towns and villages across the state – has been restored in the Assembly’s 2019-20 state budget proposal Assemblymember Monica Wallace says.

The Assembly restores $59 million in AIM funds after Governor Andrew Cuomo cut the funds in his proposed budget for the new year.

The Town of Cheektowaga has historically benefited from $820,898 in yearly AIM funding – the most substantial amount for any Erie County town or village.  Cheektowaga Chronicle has been told that the money from the state goes to fund a budget line in the highway department.

“Assemblymember Wallace and her colleagues have done the right thing by restoring this crucial funding that Cheektowaga relies on to provide the services our residents need. I urge the Senate and Governor to follow their lead and restore our AIM funding,” said Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.

Assemblymember Monica Wallace went to work to restore the funding when the governor’s proposed budget was released in January.

“Cutting AIM funding would put municipalities in the difficult position of either cutting those services or raising taxes. I fought to restore AIM funding in the Assembly’s budget proposal, and I’ll keep fighting to make sure it remains in the final state budget because our localities shouldn’t be backed into a corner when it comes to funding,” said Ms. Wallace.

Under the governor’s budget proposal, towns and villages that rely on AIM funding for less than two percent of their budgets would see it eliminated, while all cities that receive funding would maintain the same levels as last year. This would affect 24 of the 25 towns in Erie County and 13 of the 15 villages, with only the town of Alden and villages of Kenmore and Sloan exempted. The towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster and the villages of Lancaster and Depew stand to lose more than $1.3 million combined if the proposed cuts are enacted according to Ms. Wallace.

“Local governments rely on this funding for essential municipal programs like garbage pickup and snow removal efforts. That’s why the Assembly’s 2019 budget proposal responsibly funds AIM the same way we have every year since 2005,” added Ms. Wallace.

Negotiations to restore the funding continue between the Senate and Mr. Cuomo in Albany.

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