Members of the Albany City Council discovered Monday that the city finances permitted by using the Budget Committee and headed to the council contained a six-discern mistake: The town is without a doubt quick a predicted $500,000 more than officers formerly had a notion.
City Finance Director Jeanne Yeager stated all through a council work consultation that the mistake changed into determined after a Budget Committee member requested a query at a previous assembly.
“At the final Budget Committee assembly, one of the board members said our transfers in weren’t equaling our transfers out,” she stated. “In addressing that, we found we sincerely had accomplished one-yr budgets as opposed to one-yr price range. We covered the end fund stability twice, so it made it appear like we had extra money to allocate than we did.”
The predicted $500,000 shortfall is cut loose the approximate $1.7 million shortfalls going through the Albany Police Department. In the primary yr of the budget, the department is anticipated to have a gap of $518,000, and in the second 12 months, $1.2 million. Those deficits were crammed inside the finances with the aid of freezing one lieutenant function every 12 months and a complete of 5 officer positions over the years and disbanding the branch’s avenue crimes and visitors gadgets.
Yeager, who noted the error might also have been a software program errors, stated the new shortfall of approximately $500,000 could be stuffed from the city’s contingency fund, which currently has $2.Fifty-five million.
“It’s what contingency is for,” she said, “We’re not pulling any additional cash away from the departments. Nobody likes to make a mistake, but we’re glad we caught it before it went to council.”
Yeager informed the council of the mistake after spending nearly an hour discussing the opportunity to explore change revenue assets.
Mayor Sharon Konopa initiated the communique, stating that the city had to sit up for destiny budgets and that property taxes might no longer maintain the town’s offerings.
“I don’t like us happening the route folks looking at cuts,” she said. “I suppose we want to maintain our degree of provider. This year, we’re squeaking with the aid of.”
Konopa recommended implementing a software fee, raising planning costs, or increasing franchise costs. Those suggestions got here on the again of Councilor Rich Kellum’s list of money-saving ideas, which blanketed transferring one of the libraries right into a virtual library, combining the parks and library departments, closing Maple Lawn preschool, and growing the cost of Fire Med, a program that permits residents to pay $65 a year to cozy ambulance offerings in place of paying the better prices associated with their medical health insurance.
Kellum additionally said the town must recall changing the Central Albany Revitalization Area — the metropolis’s city renewal district — to have extra cash the district collects to go back to the metropolis. Property values inside the district are frozen, and as property fees will increase over the years, the distinction between the frozen fee and the brand new cost is going to the district, no longer the town.
Kellum also said he became in want of asking the electorate whether to put into effect a utility fee.
Councilor Bill Coburn agreed with Kellum and introduced that any charge the city proposed must be provided to the electorate with a specific cause and funding the Police Department or the library.
“We can’t have the funds for ourselves,” he said. “We have too large a finances, and it expenses too much. I’m pissed off that the first concept is to raise taxes.”