NO TAX HIKE IN TROY BUDGET

But councilman says plan doesn't have funds for moving city hall

KENNETH C. CROWE II STAFF WRITER
Section: Capital Region,  Page: B6

Date: Saturday, October 1, 2011

TROY -- For his final budget before leaving office, Mayor Harry Tutunjian has proposed no tax increase in a $64.7 million spending plan for 2012.


"It's another tight working budget. I'll be leaving the city with good reserves in the bank and great financial stability," Tutunjian said late Friday afternoon.


Tutunjian exits the mayor's office at the end of eight years due to term limits mandated by the city charter.


The proposed $64.7 million budget is a 2.4 percent spending increase over the 2011 budget of $62.3 million. The tax rate, the sewer rate and the water will remain the same for 2012 under Tutunjian's budget.


The City Council will now review the proposed budget to see what changes if any should be made.


Councilman Bill Dunne, who leads the Democratic council majority's budget review, questioned why Tutunjian did not allocate funds for moving city hall operations to the Dauchy Building on River Street from the current location in the former verizon Building on Sixth Avenue.


"It's really not a zero increase because there's no money in it for a city hall," Dunne said.


Tutunjian said the future location of city hall would be up to the next mayoral administration and City Council. He said the budget includes funds to continue to pay the rent for the present city hall.


Dunne also questioned the inclusion of $150,000 in the fire department budget for equipment, which he pointed out was the cost of a new ambulance that Tutunjian did not want to buy in the 2011 budget.


The proposed 2012 budget includes $1.2 million for capital purchases. The city has not always had this presented in the initial spending proposal.


With a new administration slated to take office Jan. 1, the budget retains financing to pay a deputy mayor, but does not include money for a public works commissioner or a comptroller. All three offices are vacant.


"This proposal reflects what I believe to be a responsible, fair and realistic budget that maintains the quality of life in our neighborhoods, adequately funds public safety and provides every department with the resources necessary to continue performing at an optimal level," Tutunjian said in his budget message.


The neighboring town of Brunswick also will have no tax increase for its $4.35 million budget for 2012.