City Council

Auburn Mayor Michael Quill hands a city proclamation to Karen Kuhl, Cayuga County's executive director for tourism on Thursday. Quill proclaimed the week of May 5 National Travel and Tourism Week in Auburn. 

AUBURN — Thursday's city council meeting breezed by, but the subjects of the city's 2019-2020 budget and infrastructure were still touched upon. 

Before these topics were discussed though, Karen Kuhl, Cayuga County's executive director of tourism, spoke of the "snowball impact" of tourism. After accepting a city proclamation from Mayor Michael Quill that proclaimed this week National Tourism Week in Auburn, Kuhl said tourism is an industry that can impact every other industry. 

"People who come here, those visitors who get to know the community and get to like it, are people who are saying 'maybe I want to live here ... this community has so much to offer," Kuhl said. 

Although a public hearing on the city budget is scheduled for May 24, and a vote to adopt the budget isn't until June 6, Councilor Terrence Cuddy said he was happy to see city staff revise the budget based on council's recent feedback. Specifically, he said he was pleased to see an increase of funding to the watershed inspection program. 

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Continuing the budget discussion, Councilor James Giannettino asked city staff about the status of state aid for Auburn roads.

"The only communication from the state so far has been that we can plan on CHIP funding and Pave NY funding remaining the same," said City Clerk Chuck Mason. Both of those programs are run by the state. Mason said that state representatives still haven't determined any increases to the Arterial Highway maintenance fund or the winter recovery fund that rehabilitates winter-stricken roads. 

In other news:

• City Manager Jeff Dygert said the Court Street parking lot received its final layer of asphalt Thursday and that final touches will be applied next week. He also said the North Division Street bridge has been prepped for concrete pouring. 

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Staff writer Dan Orzechowski can be reached at (315) 282-2239 or dan.orzechowski@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @OrzechowskiDan.