Ogdensburg budget has no tax increase

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  • Councilman George Hutnick confirms the increased borough donation for the Ogdensburg First Aid Squad vehicles.

  • Police Chief Stephen Gordon reviews police shift issues.

  • Council President Rachel Slater reads Heater's Pond weed control price quotes.

OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Council unanimously introduced on March 13 a 0 percent tax increase for the 2017 Ogdensburg Municipal Budget.

The public hearing is scheduled for April 10.

Mayor Steve Ciasullo said the 2017 0 percent tax increase is the fourth in five years, without any loss of services. He added the borough has achieved this accomplishment by working efficiently and being fiscally responsibly across all departments.

“Things have come a long way, and we are very happy,” Ciasullo said.

The council unanimously introduced an ordinance to exceed the municipal budget appropriation limits and to establish a cap bank. The public hearing is scheduled for April 10.

Ciasullo explained every year it is standard to establish a cap bank, per the state, because the budget is not yet in place.

Ciasullo also reported, finally, Ogdensburg received the Heater's Pond Dam state permit. Next, the borough needs: a county soil permit and to complete the construction bid process. He added, everything looks to be on schedule for around September, after the pond closes.

Ciasullo said he and Councilman George Hutnick met with Elizabethtown Gas, who will survey the three most densely populated developments in Ogdensburg, possibly starting with Presidents. In addition, Elizabethtown Gas will conduct a meeting with actual contractors explaining potential costs and how to change from: electric, propane, and oil to gas. State and federal programs may not be available as originally hoped.

Hutnick added Elizabethtown Gas will provide more detail than the last time, including more documentation and piping requirements in homes.

Councilman Anthony Nasisi said he met with two local companies and received quotes to remove the underground storage tanks. He said both quotes are below initial estimates; and he will secure one more quote before the council decides how to proceed.

Council President Rachel Slater reviewed two potential weed control company quotes for Heater's Pond. Slater read, Aquatic Analysts costs: $795 per treatment, $475 for pond lilies, plus the permit. Solitude costs: $540 for initial survey, $257 for permit, $5,660 for seasonal control, and $1,175 for shore line control, with monthly visits.

Ciasullo said they spent around $7,000 last year for treatments, more than they have ever spent. However, they were not pleased with the results. He added, whoever receives the contract needs to know what they expect: a clear path around the island — behind the pavilion, beach, swim, and fishing dock area, an access to the back of the pond, and by the boat launch near Edison Road.

Slater said treatment would begin May through June, and then Aug. through September., as needed and approved.

Per Ciasullo's request, Police Chief Stephen Gordon explained issues regarding police shifts to the council. He explained, the current collective bargaining agreement requires a schedule of three days of work on and three days off. He suggested they negotiate a more flexible schedule where he can move personnel around to cover shifts, allowing comp time rather than overtime. Gordon said, currently, they run about 122 hours a year extra, requiring either overtime or comp time.

At the next council meeting, Gordon will review possible scheduling options and numbers with the council.

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