This budget started the first day this administration took office this past July. The changes this administration made were a continuation of the cost saving efforts of the previous Mayor, Diane Browning. Changes were made that included consolidating positions, converting some full time positions to part time and changing contracts for professional services to realize savings. We have taken an inside look at our cell phone usage – reduced quantities, modified a DPW laundering contract, renewed our copier lease, modified contributions to group health insurance; all to absorb additional savings. All in all, Village Operational spending is down almost a half a million dollars.
Although our spending is down, the cost of business continues to rise at an alarming rate.
The average Village inNew Yorkhas experienced a 2,000% increase in pension costs. The cost of providing health insurance to employees has drastically increased. Everyone is familiar with the increasing energy costs.
Our goal is always to provide the same high quality services while not raising taxes. We were close. The 1.4% (approximate) increase will allow us to not only continue the same high level services, but add some new ones. With this budget our spending does not exceed our revenues.
It will also provide some funding from our fund balance to address safety concerns, energy reduction initiatives, Village marketing initiatives, building maintenance and new services.
The Village Administration parking lot has been neglected for a considerable amount of time. It has been patched several times and is now a safety hazard. The money allocated (35K) will probably not replace the whole lot but should provide enough funding to mitigate the hazard to an acceptable level.
The Village Administration building wastes a tremendous amount of energy. We have made some head way tightening the building up. I have allocated 10K additional funds to finish replacing the old doors that do not function with energy efficient windows.
I have proposed 15K to assist in Village Recognition and Marketing. There are a tremendous amount of cars that travel onMain Streetevery day. I would like to replace/modify the existing signage at each entryway to the Village onMain Street. Also, our business district onGateway Park Dr.is one of our best kept secrets in the Village. There is no signage for this area and it is not visible from any direction. Current businesses in this area are Gianelli Sausage, Kelly Lynn, D & L Manufacturing, Franciscan Health, Precision Contractors, as well as many other small businesses with limitless potential for expanded growth. We currently realize approximately 70K a year in taxes from existing businesses. There is a tremendous amount of real estate for sale back there that could produce tax dollars for our Village.
The most utilized facility in our Village is the Community Center. For several years we have put off some wall maintenance. I have allocated $7,800 to accomplish this over due maintenance action.
One project we have had on the table for a while is a Frisbee golf course inHeritagePark. I have set aside $5,200 for this. We will also be rolling out an e-waste pick up and a new heavy waste pick up schedule. These will be great services added to our lengthy list of services we provide to out Village.
These projects will be funded from our fund balance. Our fund balance after these deductions is still right in the middle of the recommended range by New York Commission of Mayors (NYCOM).
A home that is assessed at $75,000 will see approximately a $10.00 to $11.00 annual increase in their Village tax bill. Within what we control, theVillageofNorth Syracuseis fiscally healthy.