King to propose cutting tax levy

GLOVERSVILLE – At Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Dayton King will present his proposed city budget for 2014, which will call for a tax-levy decrease.

“We are decreasing taxes by almost 2 percent,” King said.

Some of the highlights or changes to his spending plan include proposals to hire a new deputy building inspector and another police officer, he said.

“We have been so fiscally conservative the last three years that we’ve got that fund balance up over $3 million, so we are going to use about $900,000 of that savings to balance the budget,” King said. “The [state] comptroller wants a city to have between 8 to 10 percent of the budget, and we will still have that amount of money there.”

He said the total budget this year is $15.8 million because of added expenses such as the workers’ compensation insurance cost shifting from the county to municipalities and contractual items within the various departments.

The cost to Gloversville for the workers’ comp insurance will be $175,527 in 2014.

The 2013 budget, which totaled $15.4 million, used $543,324 from the city’s fund balance.

Gloversville property owners pay the highest city tax rate in upstate New York, according to a report by the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

Residents of the city and the Gloversville Enlarged School District pay a combined city, school and Fulton County tax rate of $52.40 per $1,000 of assessed value, the study showed.

Capital projects

The Common Council is expected to pass a resolution related to $925,000 in serial bonds for various 2013 capital projects for each department, according to the meeting agenda. The proposed borrowing for capital projects is not part of the regular city budget but would be paid over the course of five years.

The Department of Public Works will include the bulk of the capital projects, with an estimated cost of $482,000 for various equipment.

The biggest-ticket purchases would be a new plow truck, a garbage truck, a loader and a bucket truck, DPW Director Kevin Jones said.

He said many DPW vehicles are outdated and need to be taken out of service.

“We are retiring ancient equipment from the fleet,” Jones said.

New vehicles and equipment for the Police Department are proposed in the resolution, at an estimated cost of $227,000.

Police Chief Donald VanDeusen said this morning he is in need of a new fully equipped patrol vehicle, similar to the two purchased last year, and two unmarked vehicles to replace units from the 1990s that are still in use.

In addition, the Police Department is requesting a secure access system, VanDeusen said.

“[It] is a key-card swipe system that allows each individual employee their own ID card and would limit access to areas of the station they are allowed to be in.”

He said the department now uses a low-tech lock-and-key system throughout the station.

The capital projects resolution also calls for the purchase of heating-ventilation-and-air- conditioning units for both City Hall and the Fire Department with an estimated cost of $104,000.

Tuesday’s meeting will be open to the public and will start at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

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