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Troy Mayor Patrick Madden Discusses Budget Proposal

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden (file photo)
Lucas Willard / WAMC
Troy Mayor Patrick Madden (file photo)

The mayor of Troy has released a $75.8 million dollar budget proposal for 2021. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas spoke with Patrick Madden about his spending plan.

Madden is a second-term Democrat. His plan comes with a property tax increase of 1.69 percent. That's below the tax cap and raises taxes $3.10 a month for homeowners with a house valued at $150,000.

"I think the centerpiece was putting together a structurally balanced budget, that doesn't pass the cost of what we're going through with the COVID problems, doesn't pass that on to the taxpayer to any great degree. It's a very minor tax increase, about $34, $35 a year I think it is, for the average homeowner. But given the hits we've taken in terms of revenue from other sources, given the additional expenses we have dealing with COVID, I think it's, it's a very, it's a budget that's very responsible to our taxpayers, because I know a lot of them are struggling with either of the loss of a job, loss of hours, you know, loss of their business. We're all struggling in this. So we tried to be very mindful of where our taxpayers were."

Madden is also proposing a Pay-As-You-Throw garbage system that would charge residents for the actual garbage that they produce rather than a flat rate.

"Pay-As-You-Throw is just a next step in a multi-year plan that we've been putting forth to encourage greater rates of recycling and composting in the city. So it's not a new fee by any means. In fact, the fee last year was $180 per unit, or actually, this year 2020. That fee will go down to $136 a unit, but people will need to buy city bags. And that way they pay based on the amount of waste that they produce."

Madden says the idea is to encourage recycling.

"We don't have a very impressive rate of recycling in the city. But we, so we have a lot of room for improvement there, both in terms of recycling and composting that reduces waste that goes into the landfill. We just simply cannot continue consuming landfill space the way we have in the past. It's economically and environmentally unsound. So we've been working for a couple of years to change people's behavior regarding solid waste disposal."

Madden says that while his proposal retains city services for now, it was written with hopes for federal coronavirus relief. As the pandemic continues, Madden says he is taking precautions as he follows the news along with everyone else.

"You know, we did witness the president come down with COVID. And then a couple of local mayors potentially exposed to it. It's just a stark reminder that this is out there. You know, we got I think we as a society got a little bit lax over the summer. We were all outside, we let our guards down a little bit. Now we're back inside, it's fall, and I think this is a reminder that we really have to step up our game, again, like we were doing in the early, late, late spring, early summer. So it's important, this is a reminder of how important it is because it can really throw off an organization like the city of Albany, Schenectady, or Troy, if the top staff or the legislative branch were to come down with this. So you know, we have an obligation to the community to act responsibly. And it just reminds us of that responsibility."

Several budget meetings, committee meetings, workshops and hearings have been scheduled, beginning tonight. 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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