POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- Poughkeepsie Mayor Rob Rolison, who successfully reduced the city's $13 million deficit by more than $1 million, said about his $84.5 million budget that it's now time to reinvest in the city.
Rolison said three Department of Public Works staff positions for over the weekend are needed, along with a part-time parks and recreation coordinator. Rolison also plans to increase grant funding for youth programs.
“We doubled that money to $100,000 to give more opportunity for more organizations or also if we could give more money to these already established programs,” he said.
The budget also includes a 1.8 percent tax increase, which is well within the state's cap, but Chris Petsas wants his fellow councilmembers to find cuts elsewhere so that taxpayers won't have to pay more to live in Poughkeepsie.
Funding to bring back the city’s bus service was not included in the budget. Over the summer, the city consolidated its bus service with the county’s bus service.
“We need to put our money where we can be most effective and we had a very ineffective un-economical transit system,” said Rolison.
“I think we have to wait for our election to occur and we have to see who is going to be seated at the council table next year,” said Petsas. “The election will be a tell-tale sign as to whether buses will be brought back in the future.”
Petsas said next the council will enter a review process and then will likely vote on the budget in December.