New York state has just started a new budget year, but all counties in the Empire State — and most cities — start their fiscal year on January 1. Through the first quarter of 2021, Plattsburgh is apparently doing well with holding the line on spending.
Mayor Chris Rosenquest acknowledged to the members of the Common Council Thursday evening that the finance report he presented to them is difficult to sift through. However, he said it shows that the Lake City is in very good budgetary shape for the year.
“There was a number here — total annualized spending for payroll, specifically,” the mayor said. “Right now, to date, we’ve expended $9.5 million.”
Through the end of march, Plattsburgh had paid its employees a grand total of $2,384,160.91. Annualized spending multiplies that first-quarter figure by four.
City Chamberlain Richard Marks told the council members that an annualized figure is “saying, ‘OK, this is how this is going to play out for the whole year’, and it’s only 82% of the budgeted payroll.”
The annualized — or extrapolated — figure of $9,536,643.64 that the mayor referred to is much lower than the 2021 city payroll budget of $11,599,357.
“About 18% less than what was budgeted,” Rosenquest said. “We’re running a little bit leaner than we budgeted for, so we’re in very good shape in terms of payroll.”
The picture appeared to be similarly positive regarding overtime hours for city workers. The mayor noted that by the end of March, 25% of the way through the year, the Plattsburgh Police Department had spent less than a quarter of its overtime budget.
“You can see, specifically police, we’re at 21% used of the budgeted overtime for a total of $32,000, compared to, say, (2020), where we’re at $66,000 during that time, or $51,000 during the year before,” Rosenquest said.
The councilors also allowed the mayor to sign a 2021 season license for the Plattsburgh Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market. The market’s new season will begin on Saturday, May 1 at a former Municipal Lighting Department warehouse directly across Green Street from the city’s sewage treatment plant.