City may approve budget Tuesday

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council on Tuesday is expected to approve the 2014 city budget, which calls for a nearly 2 percent tax-levy decrease, two new city jobs and raises for some city employees and elected officials.

The $15.8 million budget, which is up $400,000 from this year’s budget, calls for the hiring of a new deputy building inspector and a police officer.

“We are cutting about 40 cents [off the tax rate],” Mayor Dayton King said.

King said the budget includes no layoffs or reductions in services and calls for a 1.84 percent tax-levy decrease. The budget would lower the city tax rate from $21.71 per $1,000 of assessed value to $21.31, according to a budget resolution.

The city is expected to use $794,817 of the city fund balance to cover the difference in anticipated revenues.

The 2013 budget, which totaled $15.4 million, used $543,324 from the city’s fund balance.

Police Chief Donald VanDeusen was given the go-ahead by members of the Common Council to schedule the testing and evaluations needed for hiring a new police officer, as proposed in the 2014 budget, although no formal action was taken.

Capt. John Sira said the entry-level officer hired would have a starting annual salary of $37,544.

Deputy Commissioner of Finance Theresa Butkevitch said the new deputy building inspector is budgeted for 2014 to make $35,925.

The city would contribute $3,500 to the Office for Aging and $8,500 to the city senior center.

King said the budget reflects added expenses such as the workers’ compensation insurance cost shifting from Fulton County to Gloversville and contractual costs within city departments.

The cost to Gloversville for the workers’ comp insurance will be $175,527 in 2014. The cost is shifting from Fulton County to the city.

Salary increases

The budget calls for increased salaries of several people, including some department heads, the mayor and council members.

According to a document acquired by The Leader-Herald, each member of the council would receive a $1,000 raise, bringing the yearly salaries to $3,500. The councilman-at-large would receive a raise of $1,250, bringing the total annual pay for that position to $4,375.

Meanwhile, the document notes the mayor would receive a raise of 3 percent, which equates to about $1,195, bringing his yearly salary to $41,034.

According to the list, other raises include the police chief, $2,655; deputy finance commissioner, $4,000; Department of Public Works director, $1,650; city clerk, $640; and deputy city clerk, $560. In all, the raises for 2014 would total $18,860.

“We did this in a budget meeting,” King said. “I would agree the positions [council members and the mayor] are underpaid, and compared statewide, it’s very low.”

Fifth Ward Councilman Jay Zarrelli said the city is in a position where taxes can be reduced next year and in the future. He said it is time to give the council a raise because of the time members spend taking care of city business.

“The council feels we are in a place where taxes are going to be coming back down every year,” Zarrelli said. “As a council, we get paid $2,500 a year and put in a lot of hours. We have held off for so long to give ourselves a raise that we felt now was the time. We are still under what other council people get paid across the state.”

He said department heads have not received raises in years. The city should increase the salaries because of the cost of living, he said.

City property owners with property in the Gloversville Enlarged School District pay a combined $52.70 per $1,000 of assessed value in city, school and county taxes.

King said retail businesses in the city will increase sales tax revenue and property tax revenue for the city.

Walmart this year opened a new store in the city. City officials say they expect $600,000 to $800,000 per year in additional sales tax revenue from the store. In addition, a new Burger King plans to open off South Kingsboro Avenue in Gloversville, bringing in an estimated $20,000 to $25,000 in new sales tax revenue, city officials said.

The council is expected to pass several resolutions related to the budget at the end of the meeting.

A public hearing already was held on the proposed budget. No one from the public spoke.

The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at City Hall and will begin at 6 p.m.