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Elmira/Corning

Residents get last chance to voice budget concerns

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Residents get last chance to voice budget concerns
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After months of work, Broome County's 2013 budget could be signed into law by Thursday. But before it is, residents had one last chance to voice their concerns. YNN's Chris Whalen tells us what they and lawmakers are saying about next year's fiscal plan.

BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -- Changes to the BC Transit service continue to be the point of focus for residents commenting on the County's spending.

Fares will increase by 33 percent in 2013, figures that don't sit well with some who spoke at the last meeting before the budget is signed into law. They say money incurred through savings in transportation costs throughout all county departments should be used to help alleviate the burden on riders.

"Why not take money saved from one form of transportation and dump it into the one that needs your help?" said Endicott resident Darlene Dickinson.

Some elements of the Transit service were restored to the budget, such as unlimited one day, one week and 31 day passes. But for Jonathan Dollhopf, speaking through a sign language interpreter, says the transit schedules need to be revised as well.

"Now, I can understand, obviously, how other bus riders feel, it's frustrating, it's not right. Two hours from my home to arrive to work," Dollhopf said.

Legislators understand the frustration, but remind residents that it wasn't just bus services that felt the brunt of the tight budget.

"Everybody would like to have everything and it's awful hard when you start adding up $10,000 here and $20,000 here, everybody got cut somewhat and when that happens not everyone's going to be happy, but at least everybody's sharing in some of the pain," said Broome County Legislator Jerry Marinich.

The budget now makes its way to the county executive Thursday. She'll review comments made by the public, but legislators say they're confident the spending plan will be signed to law without any changes.

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