Council Finishing Up Budget Work

The Niagara Falls City Council finished work on the mayor’s 2017 spending plan that will now count on Amtrak paying for 63 percent of the operating costs ($172,000 a year) for the new station. City lawmakers have taken a sharp knife to Mayor Paul Dyster’s proposed $91 million budget, cutting more than $780,000 from the plan including the hefty pay raises the mayor had proposed for top staff.

With only Councilmember Kristen Grandinetti in Dyster’s corner, the council has the super majority (four votes) to override any vetoes of their amendments by the mayor when they deliver the budget to him next week for his action. The council is also expected to further reduce the tax rate on homeowners and also lower the proposed increase in the non-homestead tax rate.

Council Chairman Andrew Touma said all of the councilmembers worked extremely hard to cut expenses and pass the savings on to the residents of the city.  Touma told the Reporter that the mayor will have the council’s amendments in hand late next week, and have until Dec. 1 to either approve or veto the council’s work.

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