Mayor Mark Atkinson (standing) presents this year's village of North Syracuse budget during a public hearing at the village community center April 12 as Trustee Gary Butterfield (left) and Deputy Mayor Chuck Henry look on.
continued Police and fire were both up. The fire department budget was up $46,462 over last year from $356,011 to $402,473. Police was up $14,775 over last year from $907,674 to $922,449.
At the same time, both street maintenance and transportation were down significantly. Street maintenance dropped almost $2,000 from $459,154 to $457,306. Transportation saw a drop of $34,052 from 716,105 in 2011-12 to 682,053 for this year's budget.
The new budget does allow for some discretionary spending. This issue caused the most controversy, leading Trustee Paul Linnertz to cast his dissenting vote. He also objected to some village personnel getting raises.
The mayor provided for $73,000 from the village's fund balance for some spending.
This spending includes $35,000 for the village administration building parking lot and $10,000 for replacing some of the building's doors with windows to increase energy savings.
Fifteen thousand dollars was allocated for new signage at each entryway to the village on Main Street and for the business district on Gateway Park Drive.
The mayor also set aside money for what he called an “overdue maintenance action.” He said the walls of the village community center need work and allocated $7,800 for the job.
The budget also allows for a little more recreation in the village with $5,200 set aside for a Frisbee golf course in Heritage Park.
Linnertz said that any increase could have been avoided if discretionary spending was cut more.
“We could have had a zero percent increase [in taxes],” he said. “There are a number of raises that concern me. The one that I spoke about... was the village attorney is getting a five percent raise, and the mayor didn't discuss that raise with me. I asked [Trustee Fred] Fergerson, and he said no, the mayor didn't discuss it with him. I think those types of things should be discussed. That's the legislative process.”