Johnstown set to adopt budget

Common council to meet Monday night

JOHNSTOWN — The Common Council is scheduled to adopt a $13.2 million city budget for 2018 at a meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

Besides the budget, the only other item on the agenda is a public hearing to be conducted on a Restore N.Y. Grant for a project at 229 N. Perry St.

The spending plan — with a 2 percent tax rate increase — has virtually remained unchanged since it was released as a tentative document by Mayor Vern Jackson on Oct. 16. The council conducted two budget meetings since, on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6.

Council members previously discussed cutting a budgeted $40,000 Johnstown Public Library position to trim the spending plan further, but decided not to. The council also decided not to go after city Water Board surplus money, which is tied into water infrastructure projects.

The budget — with a proposed $12.63 per $1000 of assessed valuation tax rate for 2018 — is still above the state’s imposed tax cap for the city. The cap is just below the current tax rate.

The property tax rate would increase from $12.39 per $1,000 to $12.63. The city’s tax levy would increase from $5.49 million to $5.67 million for 2018. Fund balance added to help balance the spending plan would be $164,443. Other revenue, used to offset the budget, would increase from $6.97 million in 2017 to $7.37 million for 2018. There is no planned increase in salaries for the mayor or the five council members.

Departmental requests for 2018 translated to a $13.1 million budget, with a tax rate around the tax cap figure.

A breakdown by expenditure request in the 2018 proposed budget follows: Common Council — $22,600; mayor — $18,800; city treasurer — $324,700; city clerk — $67,300; city assessor — $49,200; elections — $18,600; public health — $5,000; historian — $2,200; city attorney — $138,700; public works –$3.37 million; fire department — $1.85 million; police –$2.05 million; traffic control –$18,000; animal control — 48,700; program for aging — $156,300; unallocated expenditures — $299,800; debt — $228,400; employee benefits — $4.25 million; transfers — $278,100.

City residents sustained a 9 percent rate hike for 2017.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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