Gloversville mayor proposes $18.6M budget

Mayor Dayton King presented an $18.56 million 2019 city budget proposal to the Common Council on Wednesday. The council will review the proposal with department heads for possible revision beginning next week. (The Leader-Herald/Ashley Onyon)

GLOVERSVILLE — Mayor Dayton King has proposed an $18.56 million 2019 city budget, up from the current year’s $17.75 million budget, without any increase to taxes through the use of fund balance and anticipated revenue increases.

The mayor’s proposed $18.56 million budget features a $7.9 million tax levy, including Payments in Lieu of Taxes, and a zero percent tax increase. The current tax rate is $20.64 per $1,000 of assessed value.

King presented his proposal to the Common Council during Tuesday’s meeting, noting the budget does not include any staffing cuts, instead adding or expanding some positions.

“The city of Gloversville, at some point, will no longer be able to burden the cost of all the services that we provide, so far that day has not come, however, insurance premiums and salaries and vehicle maintenance, etc., those costs are all going to continue to be there,” King said.

Additional staffing requests featured in the proposal include increasing the financial records clerk position to 25 hours per week, making the Neighborhood Quality Administrator full time, adding a laborer to the Department of Public Works and increasing the electrician’s salary from $36,088 to $51,088. The salaries and benefits for the positions account for a total increase of $155,380.

The city has been unsuccessfully searching for the past several months for a replacement for current electrician Jim Walsh who plans to retire at the end of this year. City officials have pointed to the low salary as a deterrent to potential applicants.

King cut one staffing request by the Gloversville Fire Department from his proposed budget for the addition of a part-time deputy building inspector with an annual salary of $41,000.

The rising cost of health insurance and other benefits for city employees accounts for $291,000 in increased expenditures, offset by a $170,000 reduction in retirement costs.

The $18.56 million budget proposal would be made up by $17.52 million in anticipated revenues. City sales tax revenue is estimated at $4 million, up $700,000 from the current year.

The remainder of the budget will be made up by $1.04 million from the city’s nearly $7 million fund balance. The current year’s budget included $1.18 million from the fund balance.

The Common Council will begin reviewing the proposed budget with department heads next week. King called on the council members to look for ways to reduce property taxes, including through further appropriation from the fund balance.

“We’ve agreed to do this in the past, but instead we’ve increased the fund balance because of sales tax revenues that we just couldn’t predict so we haven’t needed to use them,” King said. “I think we can all agree that we want to reduce costs, we ought to increase services and we want to continue to make Gloversville, New York the best place it can be for those of us that live here, work here and play here.”