With 5-2 vote, Ogdensburg councillors send proposed budget to public hearing

Ogdensburg city budget accepted
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:51 AM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - A preliminary 2023 budget for the city of Ogdensburg has made it through city council.

The proposal both raises taxes and cuts jobs.

Ogdensburg city councillors met Thursday night at city hall for a special meeting where interim city manager Andrea Smith laid out the proposed budget for 2023.

And in a 5-2 vote, that budget was accepted.

“It does reduce the workforce by 10 full-time positions,” Smith said.

Those cuts would include two vacant full-time positions at city hall, not filling two jobs at the department of public works where current workers are retiring, and cutting two police dispatchers and four police officers.

Councillor Dan Skamperle said he was not happy with the cuts, especially to the police department, and he’d like to see something else.

“I’d like to see the most efficient proposal with the fire department, short-term and long-term, in this budget,” he said.

Deputy Mayor Steven Fisher said parts of the budget need to be revisited, but the city does need a starting point.

“I think we need to revisit where we’ve almost committed to the bonding of a couple projects,” he said.

The budget also proposes a 12% increase in property taxes. On a $100,000 home the tax bill would go up almost $200. That increase would still keep taxes lower than they were two years ago.

Smith says one reason this budget is so lean is a projected $2.5 million loss in sales tax revenue.

“These are the challenges that you know, we face, and that we need to work on and resolve,” she said. “But that’s the crux of the problem.”

Councillor Mike Powers suggested talking with Scott Gray and Mark Walczyk, the newly elected members of the state Assembly and Senate.

The budget is not final. A public hearing is scheduled for November 28 at 6 p.m.