Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 30, 2013

With Tuesday deadline looming, Dyster to give Falls 2014 budget update Monday


Niagara Gazette — Dyster delivered what he described as a “disaster budget” - which included an 8.3 percent property tax hike and the elimination of the equivalent of 27.5 full-time jobs - a month late last year.

The city counted only a portion of its anticipated casino revenues in that budget after the Office of the New York State Comptroller was critical of the city’s inclusion of all withheld casino cash in previous budgets.

The city council, through cuts to civic and cultural organizations and the use of one-shot revenues, was able to eliminate the tax hike and restore most of the jobs in the adopted budget.

Dyster said at the time that the budget was late because he and other city officials were exploring every possible revenue source in an effort to minimize tax hikes or job cuts.

Dyster said he and other city employees will work over the weekend if need be to ensure that his proposal is submitted on Tuesday.

“We think we are going to be on time,” he said.

Council Chairman Glenn Choolokian said that with an on-time budget and casino revenues restored the council should have an opportunity to work with the mayor to put together the best possible spending plan.

“I’m looking for a new year of doing stuff the right way,” he said.

Choolokian said he will be looking for any spending he considers frivolous in Dyster’s proposed budget.

“We don’t want to blow money on foolish things that don’t have a long-term affect,” he said.

Contact reporter Justin Sondel at 282-2311, ext. 2257

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