SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A $42.9 million dollar budget has been proposed for Saratoga Springs. Because of COVID-19, the city is facing a nearly $7 million shortfall due to lack of sales tax revenue from not having visitors at the track or SPAC this year.
Taxes could also increase by 6%, something that hasn’t happened in almost a decade.
“I have proposed 10% expense reductions to all full-time employees’ salaries, an additional 15% reduction in public safety, 25% in public works, and we scaled back on recreation significantly,” explained Michele Madigan, Commissioner of Finance.
Tonight’s meeting in Saratoga Springs began with a public comment period.
Some community members said while they understand the challenges the city is facing this year due to COVID-19, they want to make sure children are still able to participate in recreational activities such as figure skating and soccer.
Members of the board replied by saying they realize the significance of recreation, and that currently, $1.2 million in the proposed budget is for recreation facilities and grounds.
The mayor of Saratoga Springs, Meg Kelly, told everyone that while recreation is important, departments such as police, fire, and public works are the city’s first priorities.
Workshops and meetings will be held throughout October for budget discussions. The budget process will continue through the end of November, and members of the board say the budget is being made flexible so that it can be amended if need be.
“Going forward, I think we have a great city council and I think we will be putting out a budget that we can all live with,” said Mayor Meg Kelly.
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