Gloversville gives nod to ’18 budget

Rate stays flat, no tax increase

GLOVERSVILLE — The Common Council has approved the $17.75 million budget for 2018.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted to approve the budget, which includes a zero percent tax increase. The current tax rate is $20.64 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Six of the seven council members voted to approve the budget. Second Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds was absent from the meeting.

The proposed budget originally included a 2 percent tax rate decrease, but the amount was reduced during budget meetings with various departments earlier in the month.

The city would need to use $1.18 million in fund balance to make up the deficit between appropriations and the $16.57 million in anticipated revenue. The initial proposal included the use of an estimated $1.6 million in fund balance.

Finance Director Tammie Weiterschan said previously she has not yet added in estimated sales tax revenue from the Shoe Department Encore store that opened last month, since it is not clear yet how much the store could bring in.

The council cut down the amount of fund balance used during budget sessions with various departments earlier this month.

Cuts to the proposed budget included $94,500 out of the fire department’s budget due, in part, to a $21,500 reduction in the contractual agreements line and $75,000 out of demolition of buildings; the elimination of a proposed new masonry position in the Department of Public Works; and $25,000 set aside for a proposed dog park at the former Littauer Pool.

The city will be creating a temporary job for 2018. A temporary electrician would be hired to train under current electrician Jim Walsh, who is planning to retire at the end of 2018. The position would go away in the 2019 budget.

The DPW will also be adding a new laborer position for 2018.

∫ Also during the meeting, the council approved a public hearing for a proposed new local law that would extend some appointed position terms out to four years.

Mayor Dayton King said currently the finance commissioner is a four-year appointment, but the director of public works, city clerk, deputy city clerk and city attorney are among those with one-year terms.

“I’d like to make them four-year appointments concurrent with the mayor’s term,” King said.

King, who suggested the change, said he wants to get feedback from the public on the idea. He said he would like the new rules to be effective Jan. 1.

Fifth Ward Councilman Jay Zarrelli said it can sometimes be to the city’s benefit to have one-year appointments, and is in favor of keeping the one-year structure.

First Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss said she wouldn’t have an issue with four-year appointments, as long as any new employees in those positions were on a probationary status for the first year.

“I think as long as they prove themselves over the first year, I have no problem making it four [years],” she said.

The council agreed to hear the matter during the Dec. 12 work session meeting. That meeting is tentatively set to start at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Kerry Minor can be reached at kminor@leaderherald.com.

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