NORTH TONAWANDA - Tax rates will not rise and more than $1 million will be spent to improve roads and sidewalks.
That's the message North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur G. Pappas presented to the Common Council on Tuesday, when he presented his 2017 mayor's budget. He said the key points were:
- a reduction of spending
- no layoffs
- no loss of city services
- below the tax cap - with no proposed tax increase.
The proposed $36,424,613 spending plan for 2017 is $28,209 less than the adopted 2016 budget, said Pappas.
"This budget holds the line on property taxes and reduces spending while still providing the necessary funding to deliver city services in the most cost efficient manner citizens expect," Pappas told the Council.
Pappas praised department heads and staff who worked to hold the line on spending.
"No department put forward any unnecessary or high spending items. There was no great wish list this year. It was everyone trying to do the best they can without spending a lot of money," said Pappas.
The proposed budget holds the current property tax rate at $13.25 per $1,000 of assessed value, or $1,325 for an average home assessed at $100,000. Water and sewer rates also remain unchanged, he said.
Pappas' plan includes capital funding for street and sidewalk repair as well as facility improvements for the water and wastewater treatment plants.
The mayor called repairing city streets "a priority" and said the city budget would add an additional $300,000 to another $900,000 in anticipated state highway funds, for a total of $1.2 million for street and sidewalk repairs.
Other funding includes $75,000 to purchase additional recycling totes; $350,000 for the fire department's self-contained breathing apparatus gear; and a $100,000 match of state funds to replace an aged rescue vehicle for emergency response.
The Common Council will continue to discuss the mayor's budget and will hold a public hearing on a final budget at 6 p.m. Nov. 9. The budget must be adopted by Nov. 15, according to Clerk/Treasurer Daniel Quinn.