Fifteen percent reduction requested, moratorium enforced
In lieu of extreme weather conditions, the North Syracuse Village Board met at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Community Center to discuss village matters.
North Syracuse Mayor Diane Browning announced that a moratorium will be enforced upon all village departments.
The village hosted its first budget meeting Feb. 24 and specific measures must be taken, Browning said.
"Due to the critical financial picture of villages and difficult job the Board of Trustees has to balance a budget for 2009-10," Browning said. "A moratorium is necessary on discretionary spending."
Non-discretionary items such as payroll, benefits, debt services, utilities, postage, contractual obligations, legal compliance and emergencies do not need Browning's approval. However, any added spending that could be deemed unnecessary must obtain her approval.
"It's a necessary evil," said Trustee Mark Atkinson.
In order to avoid drastic measures such as layoffs in the village, Browning said the department budgets must be lowered.
"I will be asking that all department heads cut their budgets by 15 percent," Browning said.
After the initial village budget meeting and word of a possible cut in sales tax revenue on the county and state levels, Browning said a letter will be sent to all village residents seeking support during this economic downturn.
"We've got to get this budget going," Browning said. "We don't want to take away things the village residents are use to."
The next budget meeting will be held at 1 p.m. March 4 at the Community Center.
The village's trash contract with Syracuse haulers ends May 31 so bids will be sent out promptly in order to be reviewed at 10 a.m. April 6 so that a new contract can be established.
Trustee Gary Butterfield asked if the village is allowed to refuse bids if an alternate trash removal system is established. Village Attorney Heather Cole reminded Butterfield and all trustees that the village has the right to refuse any and all bids if it so chooses.
The next village board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the Community Center.
Pictured above, Diane Browning. Star-Review file photo