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City’s budget holds line on property taxes

November 28, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The Common Council on Tuesday adopted the 2013 budget, which includes no tax increase or layoffs.

The budget, which totals $15.4 million, uses $543,324 from the city's fund balance.

"I don't want to say it was easy this year, but it really was," Mayor Dayton King said after Tuesday's council meeting. "We have great department heads and council members, the people doing the work are in place. Next year, we are going to have some more revenue and continue to have challenges, but I think the process has gone great."

Article Photos

Several members of the Gloversville Common Council are shown Tuesday. From left are Wrandy Siarkowski, Jay Zarrelli, Ellen Anadio and Stephen Mahoney. The council adopted the 2013 city budget Tuesday.
The Leader-Herald/Levi Pascher

King said it was possible to use the fund balance because the city has increased it from $1.1 million at the end of 2009 to an estimated $2 million at the end of this year.

The property-tax rate for 2013 will remain at $21.71 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

The city property-tax levy - the amount of money raised from property taxes - will be $7.7 million in 2013.

City finance officials estimate the city will receive $100,000 in sales tax revenue next year because of the new Walmart supercenter being built off South Kingsboro Avenue, said Deputy Finance Commissioner Theresa Butkevitch.

The city increased the sales and use tax revenues for the coming year to $2.4 million.

The city also expects to see a $1,600 increase in dog-license fees next year because the city clerk reported about 900 dog licenses in the city are scheduled for renewal.

Eugene Reppenhagen, a member of the Board of Directors for the Senior Citizens Center of Gloversville & Fulton County in the city, spoke during the public session of the meeting Tuesday to let the board know the center is looking for financial support from the city.

He said the senior center currently receives $7,500 from the town of Johnstown and some additional help from the town of Day. He said he'd like to see the same amount from the city in the coming year.

"Things have been very difficult for us," Reppenhagen said.

He said the community and board members have helped when they could, but he explained it's difficult to expect that same level of help annually.

First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth said the council can still pass the budget and come back at a later date to amend it to include aid for the senior center.

However, she also said the council would like to meet with the board to discuss where the senior center stands financially before committing to a dollar amount.

No date for the meeting was scheduled Tuesday.

In October, the senior center removed its executive director because of the center's financial problems.

"I have to commend the mayor for presenting a viable budget this year," Wentworth said. "I think Gloversville and the council has been working for the last five years to keep spending down and live within our means."

King said he wants departments to accept insurance plans that call for higher co-pays or deductibles that would save the city money. The terms would have to be negotiated with the departments' unions, the mayor said.

He also said he wants to reduce the number of people working on shifts at the Fire Department.

This would save the city $100,000, he said.

"The city will certainly challenge the Fire Department with its staffing clause and no-layoff clause - two items previous administrations should have never agreed to, but I don't expect this to be an easy feat," King said. "We are still looking at our health-insurance options, and I think we will see some savings."

"I'd be willing to say next year we will reduce taxes in the city of Gloversville," King said. "I don't know the last time that happened, but I am real confident that we will be able to lower them a bit."

The mayor said the new Walmart being built in the city and the possibility of additional commercial development will help future budgets.

Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at gloversville@leaderherald.com.

 
 

 

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