Town of Clay (WSYR-TV) – Ever since it abolished its own municipal police department, the Town of Clay has relied on a special deal with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office for police services on top of what the sheriff's department already provides.
Now, the town is planning to drop its enhanced service contract with the sheriff’s office in an effort to save approximately $1.5 million from a budget that is just over $12 million.
Town Supervisor Damian Ulatowski says a two percent tax cap and diminishing sales tax revenue have forced the town board to make a "tough decision."
Funding for enhanced service was not included in Ulatowski's budget proposal for next year. On Monday night, the board voted to proceed with ending the contract.
The decision means Clay will no longer have two patrols every eight hours dedicated to the town.
The substation on Route 31 could remain open. Ulatowski is proposing Clay pay for utilities and maintenance. In return for a one-dollar lease, the county could get to use the space as its northern barracks. But that agreement has yet to be finalized.
If the town's budget passes without change at the end of November, Clay will have ended its enhanced service contract a year early. Ulatowski says that has always been an option.
The proposed budget raises Clay taxes 3.4 percent. Without eliminating enhanced services, Ulatowski says town residents would have been confronted with a double-digit tax increase.