Budget ‘painful’ but will be ‘turning point,’ mayor says
With just a week to go before he must submit a proposed 2017 budget to the Common Council, Poughkeepsie Mayor Robert Rolison says he has reduced a projected $6 million gap to about $4 million.
“This budget will be painful, but it will also represent the turning point in the city, beginning to address legacy fiscal problems that have been neglected for far too long,” he said.
Rolison said previous budgets, before he took office, overstated anticipated revenues, resulting in accumulated deficits.
“The use of one-time revenues, or revenue estimates that do not materialize at all, has been a primary driver of our fiscal troubles,” he said.
Among the remaining issues causing the budget gap, the mayor said, are:
• $1.5 million in one-time revenue related to the expansion of Vassar Brothers Medical Center, which will not be a recurring revenue in 2017.
• $250,000 in increased pension costs.
• $500,000 for the sale of city property, which did not occur in 2016.
• More than $400,000 in unrealized parking revenues.
• An anticipated $1 million increase in health insurance costs.
Rolison has asked all city department heads to submit additional recommended cuts of up to 6 percent of their general fund operating expenses.
The mayor said he will present his budget on Oct. 14.