JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Raises in police pay and new equipment purchases for first responders is among the highlights of Jamestown’s revised municipal budget.
On Monday, Jamestown City Council finalized and voted on Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s 2023 municipal budget.
“I asked for the nitty gritty, down to every line item in the budget,” explained Eckland. “And going through each line item and each detailed item in that budget instead of just the book you have seen, I analyzed every line, every expense from expenses to salaries and found some things that were missed, some things that were doubled, and then some, or whatever the case may be.”
Turnout gear and emergency escape equipment for firefighters added an additional $54,000 dollars to the spending plan, in what Councilman Jeffrey Russell called a necessity.
“There’s firefighters down there that have equipment that has a lifespan that’s running out, so they needed new equipment, so that was why it was added in there,” stated Russel. “It was not in the Mayor’s budget.”
The police department also saw some upgrades, with salaries adjusted to meet state requirements, and $40,000 dollars to purchase a new vehicles.
The council also voted against a 50 cent parking meter fee increase, following an outcry from local businesses and residents.
“At this time we just thought it was not a good idea to increase the parking fees downtown,“ explained Council President Tony Dolce. “It’s kind of a fragile economy right now. Many of those businesses are just coming back from the pandemic, with inflation and other prices of things going up, we just felt that at this time it is not the right time to raise the fee.”
Other notable changes to the budget include an increase in funding for the Parks department upping their budget for supplies but decreasing money for services.
Moreover, lawmakers did not raise taxes.
“It’s a gamble, it’s always a gamble,” stated Eckland. “I have concerns and I’ve made that clear to every council member in this process that although I’m willing to accept it and move forward. That you don’t know what the economy’s going to do next week, much less next month.
According to the head of the council’s finance committee, at the end of the year the city will have a fund balance of 5.8 million dollars.
Now Mayor Eddie Sundquist has five business days to submit any vetoes to the 27 amendments, if he does, city council could override his objection or would need to make changes once again.