Niagara Gazette —
“It’s a very small part of the budget,” Walker said.
He said that the council’s decision to take funding away from projects like the library floor reconstruction is part of the hard decision making process that comes with forming a budget and that the council has to refuse good proposals every year.
“There are good projects that we can’t afford,” Walker said.
Walker also pointed to the reduced amount that the hospital is receiving as a sign of the tough decisions that need to be made.
“The original request from the hospital was $250,000,” Walker said. “We reduced that to $150,000.”
Walker plans on voting on the budget unless the city’s law department advises him to recuse himself, he said.
He argued that the public had been given an opportunity to respond to the changes, which were made public on Oct. 22, by calling or writing their council and that there will still be an opportunity for public comment at Monday’s meeting.
“The budget has not been finalized,” Walker said.
Council members involved in the budget amendment process did add funding for a few things, including:
• An additional $25,000 for an at-risk youth counseling program at the New Jerusalem Boy’s Reporting Center. The program will receive $75,000 under the amended budget.
• An additional $10,000 for the construction of a playground at Gill Creek Park needed to fulfill a match grant from the Niagara Falls School District. Under the amended budget the project will receive $60,000.
• An additional $2,000 in the demolition budget bringing that total to $489,000.
Fruscione said that his biggest concern with the budget — the $450,000 dedicated to administrative costs — still remains.
“That could go towards improving and building the community,” Fruscione said.
Fruscione said his personal goal for the budget was to protect the demolition budget line, which gained $2,000 in the amendment process, he said.