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Council Approves Oswego’s 2016 Budget

Council President Eric VanBuren moves an amendment to be voted on. Seated behind him are councilors Shawn Walker and Pat McLaughlin.

Council President Eric VanBuren moves an amendment to be voted on. Seated behind him are councilors Shawn Walker and Pat McLaughlin.

OSWEGO, NY – At its meeting Monday night, the Common Council adopted the city’s spending plan (as amended) for 2016 by a 6-1 vote.

Second Ward Councilor Pat McLaughlin cast the lone nay vote.

Council President Eric VanBuren moves an amendment to be voted on. Seated behind him are councilors Shawn Walker and Pat McLaughlin.
Council President Eric VanBuren moves an amendment to be voted on. Seated behind him are councilors Shawn Walker and Pat McLaughlin.

He knew the budget was going to pass, but opted to vote no “because there is more we could have cut. A lot more,” he told Oswego County Today following the meeting.

The $45,721,381 spending plan carries a 1.045 tax increase, down slightly from what the councilors came up with at their recent all-day budget workshop.

No one spoke at the public hearing prior to the meeting.

The council unanimously approved the budget and then spent the majority of the nearly 90-minute meeting voting on almost three dozen amendments.

For the most part, the amendments decreased the mayor’s proposed budget even further until councilors voted on the current incarnation Monday night.

The 2016 budget continues to be unofficial. The mayor has 10 days in which he could veto the document.

Mayor Tom Gillen was noncommittal after the budget vote.

When asked if he was happy with the way the budget turned out, he replied, “No comment at this time.”

Among the amendments approved Monday night were:

• Engineering ? Fees For Services (decrease $20,000)

• Planning ? Fees For Services (increase $20,000)

• Police – Equipment (decrease $4,500)

• Police – Overtime (decrease regular OT $40,000 and Harborfest OT $1,000)

• Municipal Buildings – Contracted Services (decrease $20,000)

• Maintenance of Streets – Equipment (decrease $60,000)

• Parks – Equipment (decrease $31,000)

• Marina – Contracted Services (decrease $5,000) Councilor Fran Enwright tried unsuccessfully to keep the money in the budget for needed dock repairs following the recent storm.

• Fire – Equipment (decrease $33,000)

• Fire – Overtime (decrease regular OT $100,000 and Harborfest OT $1,000)

• Personnel Contingent (increase $70,000) for a floater position, which will help alleviate overtime.

• Animal Control – Equipment (decrease $10,000)

• Street Cleaning – Overtime (decrease $29,000 reassign Harborfest OT to Personnel Contingent); (decrease $4,945 retirement on OT); ($2,320 Social Security on OT); and (increase $36,265 reassigned Harborfest OT)

• Police – Overtime (decrease $26,000 reassign Harborfest OT to Personnel Contingent); (decrease $6,760 retirement on OT); ($2,160 Social Security on OT); and (increase $34,920 reassigned Harborfest OT)

• Fire – Overtime (decrease $12,000 reassign Harborfest OT to Personnel Contingent); (decrease $3,120 retirement on OT); ($960 Social Security on OT); and (increase $16,080 reassigned Harborfest OT)

• Municipal Buildings – Utilities (decrease $40,000)

• Community Development – Administrative Support (increase $250,000)

• Police – Equipment (decrease $37,000)

• General Fund Revenue – Sales Tax (increase $50,000)

• General Fund Revenue – Unassigned Capital – Accounting Reserve (increase $70,000).

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