City comptroller gives budget report, says Ogdensburg finances improving
By JIMMY LAWTON
North Country This Week
OGDENSBURG – Ogdensburg City Comptroller Timothy Johnson told councilors the city had its best financial year since he came on board.
Johnson said the city found significant savings in health insurance costs by moving away from a self-insured policy. The city had budgeted $3.26 million and spent only $2.56 million, a savings of more than 20 percent.The city ended the year with $2.25 million in its general fund up from $1.38 million in the capital fund.
The water fund increased by $275,446 to $1.58 million. The sewer fund increased by $339,684 to $2.29 million. The library/Remington fund increased by $95,085 to $175,159. The community development fund increased by $70,195 to $272,174.
The capital project fund increased in in debt from -$2.98 million to -$3 million due largely to the ongoing wastewater treatment plant project.
Total revenues in the general fund were $14.29 million, while total expenses were $13,42 million.
Major expenses for the city were pubic safety at $7.6 million, public works at $2.37 million and general government support services at $1.95 million.
Johnson said overall this budget was much better than recent years. He said the city has grown the fund balance, reduced debt and cut health care costs.
He credited the city’s department heads for much of the savings.
Mayor Wayne Ashley offered praise to city staff following the budget report.
The city has been struggling financially over the past few years. And is currently receiving help from the state financial restructuring board.
Ogdensburg has had its bond rating drop, reduced the number of DPW employees and cut back on brush pickups.
The city’s tax rate is about $19.77 per $1,000 of assessed property value. According to the city manager, the city taxes are near the constitutional limit.