Cohoes to make additional cuts to make up for pandemic losses

cohoes city hall

COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Cohoes is the latest area in the Capital Region to re-evaluate its finances after it fell short of estimated sales tax revenue projections in its second quarter.

In April, we anticipated this coming, so we did some budget cutting back then, but when the numbers did come in for the second quarter, they were 27 percent below projections,” said Mayor Bill Keeler.

Revenue loss for the city is expected to be around $1 million for the year. To make some of that money back, the mayor announced cuts to the fire department on Tuesday.

Keeler met with Fire Chief Joseph Fahd and union representatives from the fire department to come up with an agreement to shave off more than $100,000 of the department’s overtime costs. 

“Public safety is my highest priority and I mean that in terms of the citizens at large, but also in terms of the firefighters, but I’m also responsible to the tax payer,” said Keeler.

The mayor and chief wouldn’t go into details of the agreement ahead of its official announcement on Monday.

“I think that if the negotiations work the way that I hope it will, we’ll be in a very good position to keep everything the way it is,” Fahd said.

According to the mayor, overtime costs in the department has been a decades-long problem. Fahd said Tuesday’s agreement will go up for a vote with union members, who will most likely vote on the matter in early September.

“Citizens of the city, under no circumstances, should have no concern with safety,” Keeler said.

This is the latest way the mayor’s looking to balance the city’s budget.

The police department currently has openings which the mayor intends to keep open as a way to save money.

The city has also added improvements to infrastructure to prevent what could be more costly issues down the line.  

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