City of Oneida budget season winds down


City of Oneida budget season winds down

Oneida >> Though the City of Oneida Common Council has come to an unofficial agreement regarding the proposed $12.17 million 2017 budget, the municipality held a special council meeting on Tuesday to add finishing touches to the budget process.

The meeting yielded no changes to the 1.98 percent tax rate agreed upon by councilors last week, but in order to finalize changes discussed during the month-long review process, the council green lit the use of excess funds from the 2016 budget in order to purchase items and materials sought by department heads.

By tapping into the excess funds now, the council is able to eliminate budget items in the proposed 2017 budget, reducing the spending plan for 2017 and decreasing the proposed tax rate from 2.5 to 1.98 percent.

Tuesday night, councilors unanimously agreed to use excess funds to purchase a Ferris mower, roughly $3,000, and chain link fencing, approximately $6,000, for the City of Oneida Parks and Recreation Department.

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The following items will be funded from excess funds from 2016:

•a leaf vacuum machine – $3,800

•an engineering assessment for the Mt. Hope Dam – $30,000

•a required Legionella water treatment plan – $4,000

Previously, the council saved on next year’s budget by making the recreation coordinator a part-time position with no benefits.

The decision was not made lightly, as the council was forced to go to a straw vote over whether or not to keep the position a full-time one as originally projected. Councilors Erwin Smith, Ward 3, and Jim Chamberlain, Ward 5, were the only members in the council to vote in favor of a full-time recreation coordinator.

The decision was touched on again Tuesday night by Ward 2 Councilor Michael Bowe. He supported the decision to keep the position part-time for the time being and “see how it works out.” Bowe cited the civil service position as an example the recreation coordinator position may follow.

Last year, following the retirement of previous civil service officer Peg Margo, the city elected to hire a part-time officer to assume Margo’s duties. The position was filled by Tammy Burkhart who, like Margo, worked on a part time basis. Tuesday night, the council agreed to make the position a full time one for the remainder of 2016.

No members of the public attended the council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in which councilors are expected to make the modified 2017 budget that entails the aforementioned 1.98 percent tax rate official. With the 1.98 percent tax rate, the total levy increase shifts to $4.01 million.

In the city’s Inside District, the tax on a $100,000 home would be $914. The Outside District would pay roughly $817 per $100,000 home when combining the levy with the fire district outside and hydrant taxes.

Source: Oneida Daily Dispatch
City of Oneida budget season winds down

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