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Where we live: Lackawanna

Lackawanna

Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski presented a $25.38 million budget to the Lackawanna City Council Monday night.

Szymanski’s spending plan calls for an $81 hike in the city’s garbage fee which would increase from $149 per residential unit to $230.

His spending plan holds the line on homestead tax rates with residents paying $15.21 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Business owners, meanwhile, must pay $37.96 per $1,000, up from $32.03.

The expected retirements of city police and fire personnel played a role in driving up the mayor’s spending plan $1.5 million from this year’s budget of $23.86 million.

“This year, the combined cost of police and fire retirement payments is estimated to be $830,000,” Szymanski stated in a letter to the council. “Additionally there were increases in health insurance and workers compensation costs.”

Szymanski also proposed adding an assistant comptroller with a salary of $52,650 to the payroll for 2016-2017. “It is my belief that the office is understaffed as it is, and when any person is absent for even a short period of time, my administration has to scramble to staff the absent person,” the mayor said.