City Council approves 2014 budget, as is - Press-Republican: Local News

City Council approves 2014 budget, as is

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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 2:28 am

PLATTSBURGH — City of Plattsburgh councilors easily OK’d the 2014 budget Thursday night.

“I feel confident that this approval is based on more than just an automatic approval,” Councilor and new Mayor Pro Tem Rachelle Armstrong (D-Ward 1) said. “It’s an informed approval.”

The $54 million budget features a tax-levy increase of 2.32 percent, the maximum allowed under the state tax-cap formula.

The tax rate is $10.59 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The 2013 rate was $10.76.

The spending plan was put forth last Oct. 1 by former Mayor Donald Kasprzak, as required by the City Charter. The council reviewed the plan the final three months of the year, joined after the November elections by the new council members, who took office Jan. 1, 2014.

Armstrong said it was important for the new council to be part of the process.

“I’d like to thank the previous council for allowing us to be a part of the budget discussions,” she said.

“It gave us an opportunity to meet with various department heads and ask questions.”

Councilor Michael Kelly (D-Ward 2) said the previous mayor and council did a good job with the budget presentation.

“I think the voters, in my ward at least, will feel comfortable about this,” he said.

“The tax levy and rate are very good, and I think there is very little for people to complain about.”

Mayor James Calnon said the budget can be adjusted throughout the year internally, but the tax levy and rate will not change.

“I think this was a very well-crafted budget in the first place,” said Calnon, who was mayor pro tem and budget officer the last six years before being elected mayor.

“We worked well with Donny (Kasprzak) and came up with a very responsible budget, I think.”

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