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Councilors To Reconsider Sewer Fee Hike

OSWEGO, NY – The Common Council was stymied in its attempt find enough cuts to balance the proposed 2010 city budget.

After two nights of dissecting the tentative spending plan, councilors admit they may have to consider the mayor’s proposal after all.

In an attempt to close a shortfall of $2,070,901 and maintain the current tax rate of $8.98 per thousand, the mayor opted to propose tripling the sewer fee instead of imposing a large property tax increase.

Councilors had tabled the mayor’s plan while they wrestled with the budget.

“We’re going to have a special meeting on Monday (before the scheduled committees) to vote on the sewer rate proposal,” said Council President Dan Donovan (R-Fifth Ward). “The mayor’s original proposal. There’s no other way around it.”

To find enough cuts otherwise would have meant laying off people.

“We didn’t want to do that. If we lay off people then we lose services, too,” he said.

At the second of two budget workshops Thursday night, the council interviewed the last two department heads and then spent nearly three hours debating its options.

Looking down the road, councilors are considering the sale of some property, consolidating buildings and some other cost-saving measures, Donovan explained.

“This isn’t an insult to the people, they just don’t know the numbers,” Councilor Connie Cosemento (D-First Ward) said after the workshop. “It costs us $4.2 million annually to operate the city sewer system. It only makes $1.2 million in revenue each year.”

Councilor Sue Sweet (R-Third Ward), proposed holding a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. on Aug. 20 in the McCrobie Building. It will allow the council to explain why the sewer fee hike is needed and give the public an opportunity to weigh in with thier opinions, she said.

A public hearing on the budget proposal is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 24 in the Council Chambers prior to the vote.

3 Comments

  1. I hate to see anyone lose their jobs….but….there should be no reason for this city to look the way it does. If these men and women want to keep their jobs, they should do a little better job. I know they have limited funds to do certain things….but theres no reason a section of road should be dug up for more than a month….trash all over the city….trash cans thrown wherever they may land. They should take more pride in their work…otherwise, I’d rather see 20 jobs cut than for them to raise sewer fees!

  2. They won’t raise property taxes? As if a sewer increase won’t have the same effect on people? Do you all see the stupidity of these people? They think we’re all some kinds of suckers! Get them out of office and find someone with some real business sense to run this city! They don’t want to layoff…too bad!!!…the private sector does it every day….quit hiring so many people you idiots!

  3. I think having a part time job where certain people are only there a couple of days a week shouldn’t be able to wallow in High yearly salaries over 25-30,000 a year!
    What about some of our fine town council members showing some practicality and cutting a $70,000 yrly wage down to half? Jeez we have some awesome teachers out there barely making $25,000 a year and they work thier butts off educating our children for the future! Are we sure that these utility hikes aren’t to line someone’s pay raise again?? What about the idea of chain gangs cleaning the city streets and dealing with garbage?? They do this down south and it works just fine.
    Obviously there will be more people without utilities because they can’t make enough money to even feed themselves, look out town hall!! Your bathrooms will be used more and more!! What’s with all the greed?? huh??? Look back 10 years at our cities mayors check folks, then compare it to the cost of living raises we get now, it’s way out of hand!
    The town councils idea of cutting corners should start with themselves first.
    Cut the salaries at the top THEN work thier way down to the hard working laborers!!

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