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November 13, 2013

NT Council passes amended budget

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — Council President Rich Andres, who will leave in January to join the Niagara County Legislature, said while some of Ortt’s estimates “were a little high” they were mostly “sound,” a direction he said has been rooted in the idea of keeping taxes from rising.  

“The highlight to me is holding the line on taxes,” he said, citing moves such as consolidating police dispatch with the county and downsizing some areas of the city’s workforce. “Capital spending is going to save us more money. It’s been positive.” 

Third Ward Alderman Eric Zadzilka, who won a third term in elections last week, said he would like to continue keeping taxes from going up for the next several years, though “we have to be careful, we have to keep thinking ahead.” 

He added that to do so will entail a hard look at the expense of healthcare for city employees through union negotiations, while keeping sewer and water costs “self-funded.” 

“My main focus is looking at some of the personnel expenses,” he said. “I don’t want to sacrifice services or use provocative measures. But we have to keep our ducks in a row. These are some of the things that drive any municipal budgets.” 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115. 

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