Kingston proposes end to free parking

parking-meter-s

The City of Kingston’s 2017 proposed budget, unveiled by Mayor Steve Noble on Monday, October 17, doesn’t come with a hike in the property tax levy, nor does it carry with it any layoffs of city employees.

One thing it does do, though, is bring to a close the era of free municipal parking in Kingston. Fees for using city property, like parks and buildings, as well as planning fees and permit fees will rise as well.

According to Noble, the idea is to try to meet the city’s many fiscal challenges, which include a $700,000 jump in health insurance costs, by taking in more money in what he termed “user-based revenues.”

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Noble said $175,000 is expected to be raised by metering the city’s six parking lots in Uptown, Midtown and the Rondout. The mayor said kiosks would be installed which would accept credit cards and discounted long-term options would be available. A raise in meter fees is also possible, as well as raising parking fines from $20 to $25. Also, Noble said, users would be able to get alerts on their smartphones when their time is running out and will also be able to add time on their phones. Noble said a request for proposals for the work required to make these changes will be issued shortly.

All told, the 2017 budget comes in at $41.5 million, with $17.7 million to be raised via the property tax levy — the same as the previous levy.

The budget must be approved by the city’s Common Council by mid-December.

There are 2 comments

  1. Bill Berardi

    Maybe we could also install pay stations in the City Hall employee parking area to encourage ride-sharing, biking, etc…

  2. Bill Berardi

    To: ‘Steve Noble’ ; ‘Tuey, John’
    Cc: ‘Weiss, Megan’ ; ‘azangla@freemanonline.com‘ ; ‘jnani@th-record.com‘ ; HUGH REYNOLDS (citybeat2@verizon.net) ; ‘thelincolneagle@aol.com
    Subject: 2017 Recommended Budget

    Gentlemen,

    Great job on the budget. Attached is a spreadsheet which shows an increase from 2015 actual to 2017 recommended of $ 3.9M or over 10% while our Constitutional Tax margin decreased by 2.6M over 10% in same period.

    I have spent what time I could reasonably afford reviewing same. I understand that the format must be in compliance with NYS law and that dictates it’s organization.

    If the members of the Common Council, Public (who each have to make their own tough decisions when taxes are raised) and Media are interested in reviewing same and perhaps offering constructive criticism and or suggestions to participate in the collective goals of the highest quality of essential services in the most fiscally responsible way – I offer the following:

    Publish/Supply an addendum page indicating where the costs for distributed positions are (I would surmise that these already exist in the Comptrollers budget worksheets that perhaps are already shared with members of the Finance Committee), …. If this information is included in the Public Budget – Mea Culpa for not finding it – for example

    80% of Mayor salary is found in Mayor’s Office p. 19, the other 20% is on page….or in Water Department

    75% of Comptroller’s salary is on p. 21, the other 25% is…
    80% of Principal Acct. Clerk is on p. 21 Comptroller’s Office, the…
    75% of Payroll Clerk is on p.21 Comptroller’s office and …

    75% of 2 Account Clerks are on page 24, Tax Collection and…

    90% of City Clerk is on page 33 City Clerk, 10% is on page 56 Registrar of Vital Statistics ?
    50% of Clerk is on page 33 City Clerk, 50% on page 56…..?

    Engineer – 80% is in Engineer, 20% is in Water?
    75% of Engin Tech is in Engineer, 25% is ?

    70% of Director of Communications is in Central Communications, page 44; 30% is ???

    90% of Director of Info. Technology is in Central Data Processing…
    90% of Network Sup. Tech. is in Central Data Processing and….

    Economic Development
    48% of OECD is in ED and…..
    12% of CD Financials and…
    67% of Grants manager
    49% of Admin Asst.

    The $ 16,000 increase in Common Council personal services is from……?

    In comparing 2015 actual to 2017 Recommended budget I see that Contracted Services decreased from $ 51,019 in 2015 to $ 600 in 2017, while Personal Services and Employee benefits increased from zero in 2015 to $ 65,717 in 2017 budget. I surmise that this is due to replacing a contractor with an employee but perhaps state that in an addendum.

    Central Printing increase in service contracts from $ 3,326 2015 to $ 10,000

    Central data processing p.47 , increase of $ 31,000 in telephone and removed from Central Communications?

    $ 500,000 in Contingency versus zero in 2015

    On-Street Parking Revenue Increase from $ 280,260 in 2015 to $ 415,500 in 2017

    Off-Street Parking Revenues of $ 175,000 and Expenses of $ 100,000 in Expenses – I guess the smart phone kiosks…

    Celebrations up from $ 4,622 in 2015 to $ 7,250 in 2017 – all contracted expenses – who are we paying?

    Special Events up from $ 5,486 in 2015 to $ 7,233 or 31.8% – Better tracking??? Revenues of $ 20,000 in revenue added – specialized services in Mayor’s Message?

    Rondout Dock Facilities – lost $ 20,717 in 2015 – project loss of $ 2,870 in 2017. Hopefully the $ 15,000 in rent is coming from Yacht owners – why not put meters down there?

    Urban Cultural Parks – big decrease – result of UC shared services initiative?

    Unemployment – no layoffs but increase to $ 35,000

    Glad to see you are using a professional to cure this insurance – $ 25,650 per employee (looks like that is a rate whether a 2-person plan or a family) or $ 11,309 for single – unbelievable – can’t we buy with a regional/County group? The name of the insurance agent should be disclosed. We want all employees and citizens to be healthy, paying premiums doesn’t do that and paying unnecessarily high premiums just makes us all stressed and less healthy! The contractual buyouts in each contract should be made Public.

    Additionally of note which may help towards the goal of fair distribution of costs including specialized services and union negotiations would be reducing the Unallocated Insurance p. 49 in the amount of $ 1,612,686to the Department level – since the bulk of this is Workers Compensation which is usually directly tied to job classifications and payroll amounts.

    The year-round budgeting is great – I realize that YTD data couldn’t be put in recommended budget which is why I made comparisons to 2015 actual but hope it can be shared with Public – the Town of Ulster publishes every payment on their web-site every month. Overtime is I hope reported and approved with a reason code by every Department every pay period and shared with the Finance Committee each meeting?

    Best of all – I learned that Common Council Budget includes $ 18,810 in NYS Retirement contributions!!! – If people knew maybe it would be easier to field candidates????

    Thanks for allowing me to submit this – I ask that you request the Director of Communications to forward same to each member of the Common Council.

    City of Kingston 2017 Recommended Budget
    Reviewed October 20, 2016

    p. 9, 10 2017 2015 $ Change % Change
    Recomm. Actual 2015 to 2017 2015 to 2017

    TOTAL $41,448,347 $37,589,160 $3,859,187 10.3%

    Personal Services $17,309,087 $16,443,139 $865,948 5.3%

    Capital Outlay $77,450 $163,241 $(85,791) -52.6%

    Contractual Exps $7,248,424 $6,213,043 $1,035,381 16.7%

    Employee Benefits $14,153,560 $12,510,125 $1,643,435 13.1%

    Interfund Transfers $2,659,826 $2,259,612 $400,214 17.7%

    $41,448,347 $37,589,160 $3,859,187 10.3%

    Personal Services $17,309,087 $16,443,139 $865,948
    Employee Benefits $14,153,560 $12,510,125 $1,643,435
    $31,462,647 $28,953,264 $2,509,383 8.7%

    75.9% 77.0%

    p.11
    2017 2015 $ Change
    Recomm. Actual 2015 to 2017

    TOTAL $41,448,347 $37,589,160 $3,859,187

    Constitutional Tax Margin $13,453,806 $16,059,414 $(2,605,608)

    % of Total Budget 32.5% 42.7% -10.3%

    Respectfully,

    William F. Berardi CPA, MBA, RIA, PFS

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