Ogdensburg introduces 2018 budget

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  • PHOTOS BY VERA OLINSKI Council President Peter Opilla discusses Heater's Pond Dam status.

  • Councilman George Hutnick reports Ogdensburg Day and fireworks are canceled this year.

  • Councilman Michael Nardini informs of resolving water issues.

The Ogdensburg Council unanimously introduced on March 26 the 2018 Ogdensburg Municipal Budget.

General appropriations will be: $2.8 million; anticipated revenues: $603,980; amount to be raised by taxes: $2.2 million; 2018 water budget appropriations: $371,695; and anticipated revenues: $371,695.

Public hearing will be April 23. Mayor Rachel Slater was absent.

The council also unanimously introduced the ordinance to exceed the Municipal Budget Appropriation limits by 3.5 percent and establish a Cap Bank for calendar year 2018. Public Hearing will be April 9.

The Local Government Cap Law allows a 2.5 percent annual budget increase, unless authorized by ordinance. The 3.5 percent increase in the budget will amount to $78,308, of which the extra one percent is $22,373.

The council also unanimously approved a $262,000 bond ordinance, of which, $182,000 will buy a new Department of Public Works dump truck, plow, and sander, including $9,000 down payment, $173,000 of bonds and notes, with a five year period of usefulness; $16,000 for fire department new or replacement self-contained breathing apparatus equipment and turnout gear, including $950 down payment, $15,050 of bonds and notes, with a five-year period of usefulness; $43,000 for improvements to various public buildings and facilities, including $2,050 down payment, $40,950 bonds and notes, with a 10-year period of usefulness; plus $21,000 for police department new or replacement alcotest equipment and machinery, including $1,000 down payment, $20,000 bonds and notes, with 15 years period of usefulness. Public hearing will be April 9.

The council also unanimously adopted an ordinance appropriating $47,250 from Water Capital to the Capital improvement fund for: a mobile data collector, software, laptop, water line tracer, and various water improvements.

Council President Peter Opilla said the ordinance is fully funded out of the capital budget, so bonds or notes will not be necessary.

Councilman Michael Nardini later said, with the ordinance in place, there is a 30 day waiting period to complete the Center Street Well Variable Frequency Drive and check valve replacement. Currently, Nardini said, he has three company quotes. Water Operator Rob Lawler said, all of the companies are reliable. Nardini added, an electrician is also required for miscellaneous repairs.

Nardini also clarified Well Four is on Plant Street.; and Well Three is on Center Street. He said Plant Street is all caught up, with just needing an electrician to repair a few minor things in the next few weeks. Lawler will coordinate a quote, possibly for time and materials.

In addition, Lawler gave Nardini a condensed list of remaining water improvements.

Nardini said, he spoke with the DEP. Basic twelve hour courses, he continued, are available to certify DPW employees to operate water machines, read gauges, and notify Lawler with larger problems. He said, the basic class costs $70, with a yearly $50 to keep the certification active.

Opilla said, the Heater's Pond Dam has delays caused by winter storms, but they are still on track. The rip-rap — rock to armor the dam — he continued, has all been restored and needs to be grouted within the next few weeks. Opilla concluded, the contractors will replace the boards, which regulate the height of the pond, and start filling the pond in time for summer recreation.

He also reminded, April 10 is the Elizabethtown Gas Town Hall meeting at the fire department.

Councilman George Hutnick said, unfortunately, Ogdensburg Day and fireworks are canceled this year. He added, they will forgo the celebration until next year due to time constraints and issues to be resolved.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution authorizing participation in the self-examination program of the municipal budget for the 2018 budget year; the N.J. State Fireman's Association membership application for William Allen IV; and seven individual applications for peddler permits, representing Slomin's home security systems and heating oil.

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