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Mayor Kathy Sheehan Presents 2019 Proposed City Budget

October 01, 2018

Responsible Budget Builds Upon Mission of Creating Fiscally Sustainable Future for City

View Mayor Sheehan’s proposed budget presentation to the Common Council and residents of the City of Albany
View Proposed Budget
View the PowerPoint Presentation

ALBANY, NY - Today at City Hall, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan presented her proposed 2019 budget to the Common Council and the residents of Albany that builds upon her administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility by growing only one-third of one percent (0.33%) over last year.  Most of this growth is driven by an increase in Federal funding to the Albany Community Development Agency, which is good news for our most challenged neighborhoods.

“My budget builds upon my administration’s mission of creating a fiscally sustainable future for our City,” said Mayor Sheehan.  “We continue to innovate and develop new ways to streamline processes, hold the line on spending, and work assiduously to transform Albany into a city where every neighborhood works.”

Highlights of the 2019 proposed budget include:

  • Holding the line on spending and investing in our people by not increasing the property tax levy, settling several union contracts over the past year, and providing an across-the-board 1% raise for all non-union City employees excluding me, our City Treasurer, and Chief City Auditor;
  • Planning for the future of solid waste disposal by ensuring the City remains committed to our recycling program even with changes in the global markets driving an annual expenditure increase of approximately $500,000 to operate the program.  This budget also implements legislation introduced by the Common Council in July to remove the annual curbside waste collection fee exemption from the first unit of every residential property to generate $2.82 million in revenue for a program that costs the City $4.65 million annually;
  • Strengthening our commitment to innovation and efficiency by promoting our Innovation and Performance Director to Deputy Commissioner of Administrative Services – further emphasizing the City’s dedication to innovation and efficiency by eliminating redundancies, creating metrics to drive savings, and outlining long-term strategies to continue to reduce costs and provide better customer service;
  • Investing in our community with a focus on equity, including investments in:
    • The award-winning Summer Youth Employment Program, employing approximately 1,100 youth, helping them to identify career interests and develop positive work skills and habits;
    • The Department of Recreation’s parks improvement plan, helping to renovate three more playgrounds in our Pine Hills, West Hill, and South End neighborhoods;
    • Permanently funding the Neighborhood Stabilization Coordinator position – ensuring the City continues to analyze and develop a plan for every vacant building in the City.
    • Enriching the Albany Police Department’s services to the residents and visitors of Albany by becoming the largest city in the northeast to fully deploy body-worn cameras city-wide while also working with Albany County and other municipalities to implement a County-wide 911 dispatch model;
    • A portion of the funding necessary to implement a centralized non-emergency dispatch – a 24/7/365 system that will utilize (518) 434-CITY to more effectively connect constituents to City services and information;
    • Community outreach during the 2020 Census – a process that is critically important in determining how hundreds of billions of dollars in Federal funding is distributed for infrastructure, housing, and social service programs across the country.
    • Realizing savings from the purchase of our streetlights and investment diversification by reflecting the first of ten years in an estimated annual savings of $500,000 attributed to a reduction in energy usage by converting the lights to more energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, as well as savings from no longer remitting rental payments to National Grid.  This budget also reflects a restructured financial asset investment strategy, projecting a fifteen-fold increase in revenues derived from the diversified investment of tax revenue as interest rates continue to increase – ensuring that taxpayers’ money continues to work for them.;

 

The City of Albany also requested that $12.5 million in “Capital City Funding” be included in the New York State Budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. This is a request for funding rather than an advance, or “spin up,” of dedicated future State funding.

“We continue to make a unique, compelling, and indisputable case to State leaders that Albany is treated like no other city in the State; receiving far less unrestricted aid than we deserve while supporting a staggering 64% of non-taxable property – nearly 60% of which is owned by New York State,” said Mayor Sheehan. “Essentially, New York State owns more property than all taxable property in the City combined.”

“Over the past five years, my administration has fulfilled my inauguration pledge to serve the residents of Albany by ensuring responsive City government, equitably improving our neighborhoods, implementing effective economic development initiatives, fostering sound

financial management, and leveraging relationships with businesses, non-profits, and other municipalities to drive operational improvements and efficiencies.  This budget is, once again, a direct reflection of that pledge at work.”

 

 

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