Council begins reviewing proposed 2016-2017 budget

Common Council members agreed to make several minor changes to the mayor’s 2016-2017 proposed budget at meetings held this past Monday and Tuesday evenings after reviewing expense categories including lines for the common council, mayor, controller, animal control department, personnel department, and legal department on Monday, and the engineering, public works, sanitation, sewer, and water departments on Tuesday. Each proposed change was approved by an unofficial straw poll of the council members, and the details were recorded by Controller Matt Agresta. The council is required to pass it’s own version of the budget before June 1.

On Monday, the council agreed to reduce the contractual lines for the personnel and legal department by $4,000 each, opting to move the amount to the contingency line, rather than cutting the amount from the budget. The council left intact a $11,700 increase in the mayor’s marketing line, which in last year’s budget was $10,300.

When reached for comment yesterday, Mayor Michael Villa said the increase was so that the city could “aggressively” market the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge.

On Tuesday, members transferred several amounts totaling approximately $14,000 from lines including the street maintenance contractual line, the snow removal replacement parts line, and the street maintenance replacement parts lines to the general fund contingency line, as well as transferring $10,450 from the water distribution contractual line to the water fund contingency line.

Members agreed to reduce the expense line for landfill fees in the sanitation fund from $500,000 to $480,000 based on prior years’ actual costs. The change would reduce the flat rate fee for sanitation services by approximately $2.00.

The council plans on reviewing the police and fire departments this Monday at 5:00pm and the recreation department and golf course lines the following Friday at 4:00pm.

Tim Becker

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