Ogdensburg passes budget, discusses spring events in the time of COVID-19

| 28 Apr 2020 | 04:40

The Ogdensburg borough council on April 27 unanimously passed the township's $2,983,245 budget for 2020.

Councilman Anthony Nasisi was absent.

Michael Marceau, the chief financial officer, said there will be an average tax increase of $48 per household, down from the previously proposed $52.

The 2020 average assessed home value of $220,798 will have an average tax bill of $2,604.

Furthermore, Marceau said, the council added $2 for COVID-19 response, a line item the state recently required.

COVID-19 consequences

Councilwoman Brenda O’Dell said the port-a-john hand sanitizer now costs more than the port-a-john monthly rate, as a result of shortages during the COVID-19 crisis. Since almost everything is shut down, she said, the township removed the port-a-johns to save money.

Mayor George Hutnick said that any town-planned public event is on hold until “this comes to an end.” He said that, based on the governor’s recent meeting, the stay-at-home order is indefinite. The governor is keeping the schools closed through May 15, he said.

Hutnick said the borough cannot hire lifeguards because they do not know if the guards will be needed.

Heater’s Pond is the only park currently open for fishing, walking, and fresh air, Hutnick said. He said he is waiting for an updated hatchery quote and timing of the second round of stocking. He's also reached out to Aquatics and is waiting for another update regarding the pond water, he said.

Officials discussed the fate of the annual Memorial Day Parade. Council President Michael Nardini recommended at least live-streaming a small Memorial Day service, to “get some symbolism of the day and not lose everything.”

Officials agreed, and Hutnick contacted the VFW for their input.

Gabe, a Franklin Boy Scout attending the meeting, summarized the situation during public comment: “You are waiting for the state to say when everything can open up.”

In other business:
The council unanimously introduced an ordinance amending the borough salary ordinance.The public hearing will be May 11.
The council unanimously amended and adopted the employee handbook.Mayor Hutnick said the state extended the municipal financial disclosure statement deadline to July 31.
Council President Michael Nardini introduced two Franklin Boy Scouts attending the conference call meeting – Alijaan and Gabe – who are completing one of their final requirements for a Citizenship and Community Merit Badge.