Police aim for new car

JOHNSTOWN – The city Police Department is requesting a new patrol car in its proposed 2014 budget.

The Common Council entertained that request and other city departments’ requests during a workshop Monday at City Hall.

Police Chief Mark Gifford requested a new marked patrol car. He said the current police car he would like to replace with the new one already has 150,000 miles.

Continuing his report, Gifford said he is working with the Gloversville Police Department to possibly apply for a $100,000 state grant, which uses federal money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s for jurisdictions that combine resources,” he said. “It’s mostly for training for the [joint cities’] tactical team and equipment.”

In other proposed 2014 departmental budget reports to the council:

Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said his department needs a new generator, estimated to cost about $25,000. He said he’s requested one the last four years.

“It’s something we really have to focus on,” he said.

Heberer told the council the fire department’s oldest engine is 23 years old, and in the next three to five years, the city might want to replace it.

City Clerk Cathy VanAlstyne said her office’s “biggest change” fiscally is budgeting $6,000 for a possible federal election primary in June.

Michelle Jones, director of the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, said she budgeted $8,000 to supplement the facility’s Adult Day Care Program. She said the facility has 800 members, 85 percent of whom are from the city.

“It’s a great building,” Jones said. “I enjoy working for senior services. It’s all I’ve done.”

Erica Wing, director of the Johnstown Public Library, reported her equipment line shows a 17 percent increase due to unexpected mandatory computer upgrades. She said nine computers need to be replaced by April at a cost of about $9,000.

Part-time Assessor Frank Parker told the council most of his proposed budget deals with equipment supplies. As a new assessor, he noted he set up a $1,000 travel and educational fund to access assessor information. He said he hopes the majority of those costs will be picked up by the state.

City Engineer Chandra Cotter said she has “no major purchases” for vehicles in her 2014 budget.

She budgeted a $2,000 increase for snow removal for 2014, based on state contract pricing for salt. She said she ordered 1,600 tons of salt for the coming year.

Cotter said the city received $235,000 in state Consolidated Highway Improvement Program funding for 2013 and anticipates the same amount in 2014.

Second Ward Councilman Chris Foss requested a roughly $2,000 earmark in the budget next year to promote the city.

“I think it would be nice if there could be an extra line in the budget for tourism,” he said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected].

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