Ogdensburg starts budget planning

Ogdensburg City Hall

OGDENSBURG — A proposed budget from Ogdensburg City Manager Sarah Purdy has a tax increase that stays within a state mandated tax cap at 2.82 percent and would result in a levy increase of $156,955.

For property owners that means the current tax rate of $19.86 per $1,000 of assessed value will go to $20.07 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In yearly terms, a property assessed at $50,000 will pay an extra $10.55, a property assessed at $75,000 will pay and extra $15.82 and a property assessed at $100,000 will pay an extra $21.00. The median home value in Ogdensburg is about $54,000.

Water and sewer rates will also increase in the proposed budget. The water rate will see a 2 percent increase of $7.50 to a total of $375 per year. The sewer rate is proposed to go up 3 percent, or $13 per year for a flat rate of $430 per year.

“A gradual approach of raising the water and sewer rates slightly each year for capital projects is preferable to a sudden significant increase in order to pay for the debt service,” Ms. Purdy wrote in a letter to City Council. The city is just about to undertake a $35 million rehabilitation of its wastewater treatment plant.

The budget includes an expected increase in sales tax revenue of $41,235. Ms. Purdy warned councilors in her letter that after 2020, the city could see a decrease in its portion of sales tax revenue from the St. Lawrence County, which is in the midst of a negotiation of sales tax sharing with the city.

Capital items have been limited to vehicles that will be purchased through Enterprise Fleet Management. The lease program was recommended by the State Financial Restructuring Board.

Health insurance premiums are going up, but have been limited somewhat by new contracts with two Civil Service Employees Association units. An increase of 25 percent was reduced to an increase of 17 percent by switching programs.

The budget also calls for a decrease in funding to the City Library and to the Remington Museum each by 20 percent.

The first formal review of the budget will be at the City Council’s Oct. 28 meeting.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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