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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Audit shows Schenectady has surplus

Audit shows Schenectady has surplus

The city finished last year in the black for the second year in a row, Mayor Gary McCarthy said.

The city finished last year in the black for the second year in a row, Mayor Gary McCarthy said.

The independent audit shows the city has a $1.4 million surplus for last year, he said. The total budget was $78 million.

On Monday, the city will unveil the entire 2013 audit, revealing how well or poorly it managed its budget last year. The presentation will take place at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

The City Council will look at the draft audit at its committees meeting.

The details will be released then, but the main news is that the city is no longer budgeting to spend savings.

It is living within its means — which is good, because the city spent most of its savings to pay off deficits in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“In the total picture, we did very well,” McCarthy said. “The plan is coming together.”

The Police Department did overspend its budget by $400,000 to $600,000, he said.

It’s not yet clear whether that spending was entirely in overtime, but that has been the main driver for overspending in the department in previous years.

In 2012, the department finished in the black for the first time in decades. McCarthy was hoping for similar results last year.

“They did pretty good. But not as good as that,” McCarthy said.

Still, it’s a far cry from the years in which the department overspent the overtime budget by $1 million or more.

In the fall, Police Chief Brian Kilcullen warned that he had already overspent his overtime budget by $350,000 — and he still had three months to go before the end of the year.

But Kilcullen is trying to save money on some overtime costs.

He said Thursday that the department has been taking a closer look at spending when officers work with federal agencies.

“We look to see if there’s any reimbursement available,” he said. “On a case-by-case basis, not just a long-term task force.”

Homeland Security recently responded positively to the department’s request for reimbursement, he added.

“It’s not new with some federal agencies, but it was new with that one,” he said.

The department does a great deal of work with federal agencies, often sending an officer on assignment for a day or two.

Those small assignments add up in cost, but weren’t clear opportunities for reimbursement in the past.

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