Budget talks continue deep into night

Budget Committee members worked late into the night Tuesday in the hopes of adopting a city budget b

Budget Committee members worked late into the night Tuesday in the hopes of adopting a city budget by the May 1 deadline.

Committee members discussed various line items in Mayor Ann Thane’s first proposed budget, including an increase in money budgeted for gas and diesel fuel and the city clerk’s request for an additional part-time aide. The budget committee also discussed increasing projected revenues by about $100,000 in the approximately $22.5 million proposal.

Late Tuesday, pizza was delivered and budget committee members anticipated staying at City Hall until a budget was adopted. After a month of meetings the budget committee had pared the proposed spending plan by about $1.1 million.

The original budget proposal called for the use of about $690,000 from city surpluses to stay within the city’s self-imposed tax cap. The budget committee earlier in the evening voted to use $450,000 of the surplus, which Controller Heather Reynicke said would leave “more than enough to cover anything.”

The proposed spending plan worked on earlier in the evening would increase taxes by 2.4 percent to $14.22 per $1,000 of assessed value. Water and sewer rates would decrease slightly to $313.77 per unit and $251.84 per unit respectively.

Thane was able to secure $16,000 in her budget for a part-time confidential aide who would be responsible for promoting the city and other administrative tasks.

Alderman William Wills, D-4th Ward, strongly supported the mayor’s initiative. “We have to spend money to make money,” he said.

“If we can get this city cleaned up and marketed, we may have a win-win here and it’s worth the risk,” Wills said.

Wills suggested the city ask the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency to fund half of the aide’s salary.

A request to hire a part-time staffer by the city clerk was denied.

Alderwoman Kim Brumley, C-3rd Ward, said she would rather the clerk share the support staff already working in City Hall.

Categories: Schenectady County

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