Council lists proposed cuts, discusses transportation numbers

Four city jobs were named on a preliminary list of proposed budget cuts issued by the Common Council at a budget committee meeting Tuesday night. The positions in question include the Corporation Counsel’s assistant, the Director of Economic Development, one Department of Public Works supervisor, and a  new Keyboard Specialist position for the Employee Relations Department.

Other cuts included various salary and raise reductions, reduction in overtime for the Fire Department, and reducing the mayor’s marketing budget. The total amount of the proposed cuts would be $225,631. The following is a breakdown of the items under discussion:

Removal of extra $1 per hour given to Water Dept. employees $17,492.00
Removal of 2% raise for Corporation Counsel $1,380.00
Removal of Corporation Counsel Assistant $31,212.00
Removal of requested new hire for Employee Relations $38,509.00
Removal of Economic Development Director* $52,875.00
Decrease to the mayor’s marketing expense line $2,800.00
Decrease in records management – equipment expense line $4,000.00
Decrease in AFD overtime line $25,000.00
Decrease in landfill expense line $36,000.00
Removal of 2nd DPW Supervisor $56,363.00
Total $265,631.00

 (Editorial note: the original list of proposed cuts provided listed a decrease in the administrative fee charged to the Municipal Golf Course of $40,000. This cannot be considered a cut, as it is only a reduction in revenues transferred from the golf course fund to the general fund.)

The council also looked at a potential scenario for reducing services provided by the city Transportation Department. According to a preliminary worksheet provided by Controller Matt Agresta, a gain of approximately $58,249 could be realized by reducing service to the Montgomery County office building in Fonda, cutting service to Fulton Montgomery Community College, as well as increasing certain rates such as door to door service. However, the loss in assistance from NY State due to the reduced service would amount to approximately $41,000, leaving only a net gain of about $17,000.

Agresta said that along with additional cuts suggested by Transportation Director Cheryl Scott, he estimated the city would still need to contribute approximately $227,801 from the general fund in order to subsidize the public transportation system.

After the meeting, council members said they will continue to look for more ways to reduce the gap .

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.