of the October 2004 meeting were approved.
Sano, Common Council Majority Leader & Chair of the Budget and Finance
Proposed Capital Budget for 2005
proposed City budget for 2005 is $136.7 million.
There will be a 4.5% property tax increase and no new, nonrecurring
revenue is anticipated. The City has
invested $100,000 on resources to increase fines for parking, traffic, etc.
$3 million is expected to be collected.
City’s existing debt is $145.2 million and includes
anticipation notes $10.2 million
service will be 10.3% of the total budget. Payments
will be just over $14 million. Interest
payments will be about $4 million for $15 million principal.
City will bond in excess of $25.7 million
City’s bond rating is very good for a municipality in our area.
Efforts are being made to shorten the length of new bonding obligations.
million for the firefighter’s pension is for a union negotiated expense and is
salary and benefit payments will increase by 5%.
Salaries are presently more in line with national averages; therefore,
the cost to employees for some of their benefits may increase.
bargaining makes it difficult for the city to make substantial changes for
salaries and benefits. However, cost-saving options for non-unionized employees
are being considered.
and overtime costs account for a large percentage of the City’s budget.
Overtime expenses for 2003 were almost $6 million and in 2005 will
outstrip any savings that might be found by not filling vacant positions.
The Common Council is requiring closer projections for personnel and
particularly for overtime.
care costs are projected to be $20 million—up from $9 million in 1998.
health insurance and medical expenses are projected to be about $11 million.
For retirees they are expected to be $9 million.
Both have more than doubled in the lat 5 years.
Retirees pay close to nothing for their health insurance, and
firefighters don’t pay premiums after 10 years of service.
Health insurance for employees who retired during the last 10-12 years is
being reviewed and will eventually be adjusted and hopefully, the city will
experience about $2.8 million savings.
costs for 2005 are projected to be $9 million for the City’s 900 retirees.
Of that amount the cost for non-police and firefighters will be $3
million, while costs for retired police and fire personnel will be $6 million.
The City does, in fact, periodically check to be certain retirees remain
eligible for the benefits they receive.
process for selection of streets to be improved is an antiquated and somewhat
random process. The Common Council
is authorized to approve or disapprove bonding for streets and roads and votes
and considers requests for bonding in March and April.
Capital projects can be vetoed individually by the Common Council. The
City expects to repave Hackett and Henry Johnson Boulevards without bonding.
The recent and sudden death of long-time
A motion was made to extend the terms of the Executive Committee to two
years. The motion was unanimously
adopted. Executive officers are
empowered to make emergency decisions without a forum of
The 2005 committee to nominate officers for 2005 will consist of Gene
Solan, Harold Rubin and Collin McKnight.
The chairman will email members information about a lead safety course to
be held on
committee is reviewing the budget and deciding on comments they wish to make on
attended a meeting on October 14 where information about the development of the
master plan was discussed. Among
the comments made by Mayor Jennings were
that he wants the revitalized campus to be revenue producing and
would also like to have housing in the downtown area.
The neighborhood associations may have little input except to advise the
mayor. Of particular interest is the
elimination of the ring roads and the campus’ integration into the cityscape.
University and Community Relations
next meeting of the committee on University and Community Relations will be at
on Wednesday November
10 at the Albany Police Department at
Neighborhoods Work Conference
fifth annual Neighborhoods Work conference will be held from
meeting adjourned at