GLOVERSVILLE - The Common Council has made some changes to Mayor Dayton King's proposed 2013 city budget, but it still calls for no tax increase or staff cuts.
After having budget meetings with department officials this month, the council changed the budgets for several departments, including Public Works, the mayor's office, Transit, Police and Fire.
The biggest change was removal of a budget item to hire a code enforcer for $30,000.
The mayor said he proposed an additional code enforcer last year and this year to work with Building Inspector Rob Robbins, who will eventually retire. King said it is important for the city to give Robbins the chance to pass his knowledge on to the next person.
The Fire Department also takes care of code violations at this time, but the mayor said he hopes to change that eventually.
"My goal is to reduce the cost of the Fire Department because right now between the safety staffing and overtime we are spending about $300,000 in that department," said King. "I wanted to have the code enforcer so the department would have less to do."
During a budget meeting with the Police Department, council members found $10,000 could be saved under overtime and personnel, said Finance Commissioner Bruce Van Genderen.
The biggest increase to the proposed budget through the meetings came from DPW, totaling $22,500.
The department had to add $10,000 to the budget for gasoline because of the growing problems in the Middle East and rising gas prices, Van Genderen said.
"There is not an exact science to this, so to just be on the conservative side, in case something happens, we increased it by $10,000," he said.
He also said the council added $2,500 to service and repair because the DPW trucks are now eight years old.
Van Genderen said DPW Director Kevin Jones felt the mayor cut too much from the landfill tipping fee line in his budget proposal, so the council increased it by $15,000.
The tipping fees are what the Fulton County landfill charges the city to dispose of garbage there. The fee is based on tonnage.
"We are still going to have no tax increase and lay off no employees after these modifications," King said. "We will have to use about $500,000 from the general fund that has increased by 80 percent since I have taken office. We are going to have increased funds in sales tax from the Walmart [Supercenter] next year, and we have other things in the hopper, so I think we will be okay."
City finance officials estimate the city will receive increased sales and use tax revenues of $100,000 next year due to the new Walmart facility being built off South Kingsboro Avenue, said Deputy Commissioner of Finance Theresa Butkevitch.
The city is also expecting to have a $1,600 increase in dog license fees next year because the city clerk reported there are approximately 900 dogs within the city that are set for renewal in the coming year.
The city attorney, clerk and assessor's 2013 budget included no changes to the mayor's proposed funding.
The Common Council has scheduled a public hearing on the budget for Nov. 13 at 6 p.m.
Levi Pascher covers Gloversville news. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.