Bud­get ‘painful’ but will be ‘turn­ing point,’ mayor says

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - Mid-Hud­son News Net­work

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.

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