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What you need to know for 10/22/2017

Changes to budget could save city jobs

Changes to budget could save city jobs

As the Gloversville Common Council prepares to adopt a $15 million budget Thursday night, Council

As the Gloversville Common Council prepares to adopt a $15 million budget Thursday night, Councilman-at-large James Handy said Tuesday it may not be necessary to cut any current employees.

Handy, commenting before Tuesday’s work session, said a final decision on job cuts would depend on council decisions concerning setting aside part of the city surplus to use as a contingency fund. It would also depend on a decision to eliminate the three remaining vacant positions in the police department to save about $175,000 or more.

Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen said Tuesday his latest calculations and revisions produced a budget gap of about $100,000 — and that is with all the police positions filled.

However, he said, that scenario depends on using the entire $800,000 city surplus and imposing an 8.5 percent tax increase. But it also surmises the state will cut four percent — about $96,000 — from the $2.4 million in state aid the city received this year. Van Genderen said he is budgeting state aid now at $2.3 million for 2010.

Van Genderen said employee health insurance changes will generate a savings of about $450,000.

“We’ll know where we’re at tonight,” Handy said in anticipation of the work session.

“I don’t want a tax increase,” he said, but with no contingency account to fund emergencies in 2010, Handy said it may be necessary to save some of the city surplus and go through with the planned 8.5 percent increase that will generate about $500,000 in new revenue.

“We’re getting closer,” Van Genderen said.

The council is scheduled to adopt a budget at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. Dec. 10 is the City Charter deadline for budget adoption.

The current city tax rate is $18.46 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. An 8.5 percent tax increase would boost the tax rate about $1.55.

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