2022 Budget Presentation
- To begin this year’s budget, we see an increase of $1,344,955.00 directly due to the approval of the 2021 Bond in August with no retiring debt. All indications were, even with the new Moody’s rating, that our interest rate and payment would have a 3.5% increase impact on the 2022 budget. However due to low interest rates and our new financial rating position, that increase was actually 2.9%
- In addition, we still have normal increases such as contractual obligations. We will be dealing with inflated prices (such as fuel). Our Garbage Tipping fees will be increasing 6-9%. Initially the budget with department head requests and the above items, taken into account, came out to roughly 17%. Yes, unacceptable.
- Additionally, we saw some inflated revenue lines in 2021 that did NOT come to fruition or was inflated due to a large project going into its second permit of construction. Those lines needed to be reduced in this year’s budget as they will not repeat in 2022.
- Some of the lines that helped with the reduction of that initial percentage were:
- Retirement of Police Officers in 2021 – All at the top of the pay scale and lower numbered tier system, new hires cost the city much less and pay into their retirement, initially, allowing for savings.
- A reduction in Workman’s Compensation
- We have seen a return of sales tax revenue to the pre-Covid level
- We have also seen a return of State Aid/ Per Capita Rev Share to the pre-Covid level
- Both back from major reduction when anticipating poor levels in 2021 due to Covid
- Items added back or increased to the budget are:
- Capital Note from $60k to $200k as there will be no bond until 2025 and 3+ years without a major purchase we will certainly yield major repairs and need of that fund.
- Contingency – That was $150,000 and dropped in 2021 would be back and increased to $200,000 to largely address emergency purchases if needed and potentially address dilapidated city owned buildings.
- Beautification was returned to pre-Covid levels
- The Fire Department was given what they requested however you will notice that line requests were moved for accounting purposes but all items are included.
- All other departments budget lines were examined and adjusted based on trends.
- All non-union pay was increased by 2% or up to 2022 minimum wage if it fell below that threshold.
- One requested item from the Police Department was for a 2nd fulltime Lieutenant. Although we are beginning contract negotiations with the police, added personnel at this level would affect our city taxes by nearly 5%, as over 90% of our city budget is salary and fringe. Therefore, I explained the denied request to the Chief of Police and advised that with further city development and growth, a tax base in a few years might allow for this position to be added; just not right now.
Therefore, with the hard work of our new City Clerk Treasurer Laura Quick, I am giving you a budget that is only a .62% increase over the 2021 City Budget. That coupled with the 2021 Bond approved by the council in August of 2.9%, I propose a general budget increase of 3.52%.
For the average homeowner that is paying $1,500 a year in city property tax that is an increase of $4.40 a month. In addition, per our DEC Sewer Consent order and to be able to begin paying on the new $20 million dollar bond, approved by the council in July of this year, for sewer replacement; as we begin drawing from the bond in 2022, the sewer fee increase was set at the minimum of $9.00 per quarter or $3.00 per month.
The water rate, again for 2022, has not been increased.
In total, the average increase per homeowner will be approximately $7.40 a month should the council choose to accept this budget.