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New Trash Fee Proposed In Troy Mayor’s Budget Plan

City of Troy/Instagram Composite Image by Dave Lucas

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden has released his budget proposal for 2021.

Madden's $75.8M spending plancarries a 1.69 percent property tax increase for the 2021 fiscal year. The second-term Democrat says that's an average monthly increase of $3.10 for homeowners with a home valued at $150,000.

Republican City Council President Carmella Mantello says she is pleased that the budget stays under the tax cap.

"This is an extremely unprecedented challenging time with COVID-19, but it's a 2020 budget issue, it's a cash flow issue right now and we've been working in a bi-partisan matter since March, since COVID struck, and every month we've done something to battle the economic shutdown and the revenues that have decreased over the past several months."

Madden notes in a written budget statement that while the proposal retains city services for now, it was written with hopes for federal coronavirus relief.

Mantello is concerned about Madden's move to defer a portion of the 2021 pension payment over the next 10 years.

"We are kind of pushing the deferral obviously, the pension payment I should say, over a period of time but not vetted. You know, the mayor is trying to be creative but I'll have to also look into that to see what the payment plan looks like."

Democratic Council President Pro Tem Ken Zalewski says the budget looks promising.

"We're maintaining services and keeping the tax increase as low as possible. We're gonna be going down this budget line by line over the next few weeks. And I'm very hopeful for the city of Troy that we will be able to keep things moving forward without changing staffing, without reducing services and keeping our taxpayers in mind throughout the entire process. We wanna safeguard our taxpayers first and foremost."

Zalewski says the budget proposes a Pay-As-You-Throw garbage system that would charge residents for the actual garbage that they produce, instead of imposing a flat fee for every housing unit.

"This should also have the side effect of encouraging more recycling. The more waste that we take out of the garbage stream and turn that into recycling, the less the city has to pay in tipping fees, so that's gonna be a win-win for the city and its residents."

Mantello says she is concerned about enforcement of the measure.

"The council has several budget meetings, committee meetings, workshops and hearings and we anticipate to learn more about Pay-As-You-Throw."

Various budget meetings have been scheduled and will appear on social media and the councilors encourage residents to join in whenever possible. There is a list posted below. The council will act on the budget at the end of November.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 5:30 pm SPECIAL MEETING • Receipt of Mayor’s Proposed 2021 Budget

5:35 pm FINANCE MEETING • Finance Committee refers budget recommendations to the appropriate standing committees

Thursday, October 15, 2020 6:00 pm FINANCE • Budget Overview • Mayor's Office • Comptroller's Office (Administration, Assessments, Cash Receipts, Contracts & Procurement, Personnel) • Vital Statistics • City Clerk • City Council • City Auditor

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 6:00 pm PUBLIC UTILITIES • Water • Sewer

6:30 pm SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY • Information Systems

7:00 pm PLANNING • Planning and Community Development

Thursday, October 22, 2020 5:30 pm LAW • Corporation Counsel

5:45 pm 2021CAPITAL PLAN

Tuesday, October 27, 2020 6:00 pm PUBLIC SAFETY • Fire Department • Police Department

Thursday, October 29, 2020 6:00 pm GENERAL SERVICES • Code Enforcement • Department of Public Works (City Services Administration, Central Garage, Facility Maintenance, and Traffic Control) • Engineering • Parks and Recreation

Thursday, November 5, 2020 5:30 pm GENERAL SERVICES • Sanitation

Sunday, November 15, 2020 Standing Committee Reports Due to the City Clerk

Tuesday, November 17, 2020 6:00 pm City Council & Mayor Public Budget Meeting • Mayor, Budget Officer, and City Council convene to review suggested changes to the recommended budget.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 7:00 pm Final Public Hearing including the Capital Budget

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 6:00 pm Special Meeting to Adopt the Budget

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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