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NYM City council makes budget cuts across the board

Reductions in state aid to cities this year has led New York Mills to cut about $86,000 from the general fund in the 2009 budget.

The city council held a special budget meeting Tuesday and approved cuts in all departments with some wage/benefits expenses transferred out of the general fund to utility funds (water, sewer, gas).

A wage freeze approved in December will save the city a total of about $20,000 in 2009. The police department budget was reduced by $6,600. Those savings will come in deferred capital purchases and reassigned work schedules. No positions will be cut and the department will continue with three full-time officers, as well as part-time hours.

The city will also see a savings of $29,075 by moving a current employee who was splitting hours between City Hall maintenance and public works to full-time in the public works department. A part-time person will be hired to do building maintenance.

Other cuts include closing the airport, which will save $5,000. The city receives about $1,900 in state aid but maintaining the airport costs the city between $7,000 and $9,000 each year. The council decided to implement a monthly franchise fee on electric meters in town. An estimated $9,000 will be generated from the fee and will be dedicated to keeping the community swimming pool open. The fire department will receive $5,000 less in capital contributions, lowering that amount from $15,000 to $10,000.

Changes in health benefits will save the city $3,000. The city plans on billing businesses for snow removal and sidewalk clearing, which could generate up to $7,500.

The public works department will also hold off on come capital purchases for a $22,000 savings in the budget.

New York Mills lost $29,000 in Local Government Aid in December and will lose about $35,000 this year, from what was originally expected in LGA.