Tonawanda News — Kenmore Mayor Patrick Mang more than once invoked the village’s fiscal struggles as he outlined a handful of the area’s goals and challenges Wednesday during his annual State of the Village address.
Although Mang did discuss Kenmore’s recent accomplishments, the majority of the speech focused on the municipality’s financial roadblocks.
“There are so many costs beyond our control,” he said. “And on top of that, there is the 2 percent cap that keeps us from going over that.”
Mang pointed to ever-rising pension costs, which he said have increased by 100 percent in the last five years.
“We are a small village, and we are paying $1.2 million in pension costs,” Mang said. “And it is going up next year again, yet the state refuses to reform it or offer some relief.”
The Department of Public Works, which performs the majority of the day-to-day duties in the village, has recently been cut from 51 workers to 35.
But despite those hurdles, Mang said he and the board are doing their best to retain services for residents — with no raises for elected officials, among other measures.
“Those services are what attract residents and businesses alike,” he said.
The event, sponsored by Kenmore Merchants Association, was held at Village Square Events and Catering on the block of Delaware Road that has recently been redone by Sinatra & Company Real Estate.
Mang thanked Nick Sinatra for leading that effort.
“We now have somewhere to go in Kenmore that is our home,” he said.
He also said the village is working with the state’s Department of Transportation to work on the flow of traffic on Delaware Avenue.
Possible changes include adding a center turn lane and removing the sign prohibiting left turns onto Lincoln Boulevard from Delaware, in addition to clearly marking between lanes.