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Fifth year of budget surplus for Oneida County

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Fifth year of budget surplus for Oneida County
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UTICA, N.Y. -- For the fifth year in a row, Oneida County is celebrating what's become an unusual feat for local governments: Ending the fiscal year under budget.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente Jr. says the surplus for 2011 totals just more than $6 million. He says tough decisions that involved reducing staff numbers to lower salary, health benefit and retirement levels contributed to the extra funds.

Still, Picente says he plans to send a financial plan to the Board of Legislators emphasizing that the money doesn't open the door to more spending.

"We have to be very, very cautious on that. We have to make sure that we continue this stewardship that we've put in place. Hopefully it will improve the credit ratings that were just maintained," said Picente.

Picente says some of the money will go towards increasing the county's restricted fund balance, as well as to supplementing next year's budget and economic development.

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