Ogdensburg Lawmakers Expected To Vote Monday On Budget

Ogdensburg Lawmakers Expected To Vote Monday On Budget

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Six months ago there was talk of significant tax hikes and layoffs of city workers in Ogdensburg.

It looked like the 2018 budget would be contentious. But it could go through Monday night.

Mayor Wayne Ashley credits belt tightening by city department heads.

“They've worked hard. We got the budget trimmed. And there's just a few obstacles I think that concerns the councilors, that they want to remedy before they approve the final budget,” he said.

Property taxes would go up only slightly. A person with a home assessed at $100,000 would pay $1.50 more in taxes next year.

The bigger hike will be in water and sewer rates. Water would go up $33.50 a year and sewer rates would jump $37 per year.

“This financial situation we're in today, it didn't happen today. And we're not going to get out of it tomorrow. But there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ashley.

The city saw its credit rating drop to junk bond status this year.

It has asked a state financial control board to help. And there are cuts in the proposed budget.

The Remington Museum and the public library will each get $20,000 less next year.

This proposed budget isn't set in stone. There's talk of cutting appropriations for the Remington Museum and library even further. Supporters of both institutions hope that doesn't happen.

“We are very careful and frugal to make the best use of those necessary resources that we take in and expend,” said Laura Foster, director/curator Remington Museum.

Passage of the budget Monday isn't guaranteed.

But prospects look much better than last year, when the final budget resulted in a 13 percent property tax hike and that budget wasn't approved until well into December.

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