North Syracuse: Village budget explained

— 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 in New York has experienced a 2,000 percent 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 percent (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 ($35,000) 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 headway tightening the building up. I have allocated $10,000 additional funds to finish replacing the old doors that do not function with energy efficient windows.

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