NYS Comptroller Releases Plattsburgh's 2014 Fiscal Profile

By Megan Carpenter | mcarpenter@nexstar.tv

Published 05/07 2014 08:04PM

Updated 05/07 2014 08:57PM

PLATTSBURGH, Ny.- New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli discussed the pros and cons to the City of Plattsburgh's 2014 Fiscal Profile.  During Wednesday's presentation to government officials, he gave the good news first.

hen cities around the state began to suffer declines in property value in 2009, Plattsburgh's value continued to increase," says DiNapoli.  "The city's median home value is now at $139,000, while the median city home value in New York State is $102,000."

The city scored a 9.6 on the fiscal stress scale.  The threshhold for the lowest level of fiscal stress is a 45.  This is in part to Plattsburgh's proximity to the Canadian border, SUNY Plattsburgh, and an expanding manufacturing industry.

The report showed areas of improvement as well.

"The median household income for Plattsburgh is $36,000, noticably less than the state median of $57,000," says DiNapoli.  "The city's child poverty rate of 28 percent is higher than the statewide rate of 21 percent."

According to the report, population has stayed around 20,000 since 1960.  While DiNapoli says this has helped property values, Mayor Jim Calnon says this means people are not drawn to Plattsburgh.

"One of the things we need to do in order to have growth within the city is to have a reason for people to want to be here," says Calnon.

Downtown business owners who have lived in Plattsburgh since birth add the city is less booming than it used to be.

"We used to go downtown for shopping because there were so many stores," says Carolyn Tetreault, Owner of A Beautiful Mess.  "That has declined and I wanted to bring something more to downtown so people who grew up here and even younger people can get a taste of what it's like downtown again."

Mayor Calnon says job creation is always on the agenda, but budgeting is equally as vital to increase Plattsburgh's economic stability.

"For the next two budgets at least, we have to make sure it is balanced and stable," says Calnon.  "We've been using our fund balance to keep our tax rate as stable as we can, but a rainy day fund when it rains the whole month starts to run out."

Kim Manion, Owner of Maui North and Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center says prospects are looking up.

"I know the City of Plattsburgh and Town of Plattsburgh have revolving loan funds used to help create jobs," says Manion.  "It's been a rocky road but, we're seeing more businesses opening and we're seeing more businesses stay in business."

This 2014 Fiscal Profile is the latest in a series of profiles done on municipalities across the state.  To date, 142 municipalities were found to be in some form of fiscal stress.

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