Under a 2013 budgetary plan released on Monday by North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt, the city would not raise property taxes or water and sewer fees for the second year in a row.
The plan also calls for the continuation of consolidation efforts among city departments, an increase in infrastructure investments and an expansion of the city’s recycling program, which has become more profitable during the last several years.
The $35,355,401 budget total represents a $703,556 increase in spending when compared to 2012, although the common council would still need to give approval. The city will hold several public hearings between now and the Nov. 15 vote.
Ortt said the city will save an estimated $260,000 after 11 city employees took a retirement incentive offered in July, with plans to replace only six of those positions.
He added that during the last three years of his administration, the city has shaved 50 full-time positions out of its ranks, which equals out to more than 20 percent of its workforce. With an average salary of $52,000 for those unfilled jobs, the city has reduced nearly $2.6 million from its annual costs.
Ortt said fiscal responsibility continues to be at the heart of his political philosophy.
“That’s what’s happening in the private sector and government should be no different,” he said.
Ortt said the vast majority of jobs that have been eliminated were possible through attrition, while his administration continues to look at cost-savings measures, including a plan to move five employees from the water department to the department of public works – a measure he said will allow the use of shared services and equipment — and the reduction of some city-owned vehicles through an interdepartmental program that would share them.
The city would pour $825,000 into its roads and sidewalks, with about half of that bonded, while the other portion has already been acquired through state grants.