Ogdensburg comptroller urges lawmakers to start 2024 budget soon

Ogdensburg's financial outlook
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 5:36 AM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - Ogdensburg comptroller Angela Gray had a stark warning about the future of the city’s finances at a meeting Wednesday night.

As it stands now, she expects a budget deficit close to $2 million next year. And that’s if expenditures remain the same, which she says is unlikely.

This all came as Gray presented an end-of-year review of 2022 city finances.

Going into this year the city made difficult decisions to balance its 2023 budget, one that former city manager Stephen Jellie asked councillors to begin working on early.

The comptroller says the city cannot wait until the end of the year to begin work on the 2024 budget either.

“If you get nothing (else) out of this presentation tonight, it is my strongest recommendation that we start focusing on maintaining spending in 2023, while preparing the 2024 budget starting very, very soon,” Gray said.

The comptroller also recommended the city begin planning ahead for future projects with a capital reserve fund.

There are a number of “mission critical” projects that former interim city manager Andrea Smith says cannot be kicked down the road.

If they’re to do that work, however, councillors will have to decide whether to use city savings or to borrow the money.

Wednesday night’s meeting was the first for new city manager Mohideen Buharie.