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Niagara Falls Council to continue budget discussions Nov. 23

NIAGARA FALLS - The City Council has already made more than $1 million in spending cuts in Mayor Paul Dyster's proposed 2017 budget, including reducing pay raises and stipends, but it may not be done with its budget trimming.

The City Council will hold another budget meeting to discuss additional changes to the 2017 budget at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Council Chambers in City Hall, 745 Main St.

The cuts to the $91 million budget included slashing $374,000 from the Community Development budget, which was approved by a three to one vote on Nov. 9, with  Councilor Kristen Grandinetti objecting and Councilman Charles Walker absent.

Council President Andrew Touma said after the Nov. 9  meeting that Council members had to cut back on some of the programming. He said councilors had questions about a request for $500,000 in casino funds to be transferred to the budget for community development.

"We are looking out for the taxpayers. We are trying to do more with less," said Touma.

Community Development Director Seth Piccirillo met with the Council a week later to try to explain his budget. He said the department is going through a reorganization and is actually lowering its annual payroll by $44,000 through retirement and attrition.

But he said federal housing and urban development money is going down. He said he wants to make sure the department has casino revenue available to be spent after federal dollars are exhausted, rather than withdrawing money from the general fund.

The Community Development office's budget did include a $10,000 raise for Piccirillo, from $70,000 to $80,000, which Touma said is not likely to be approved.






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