POUGHKEEPSIE –The City of Poughkeepsie is under “significant fiscal stress,” according to a report released by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He that the number of local governments with the designation of “significant fiscal stress” has more than doubled compared to the previous year. The previous report had Poughkeepsie in “moderate fiscal stress.”
City Administrator Marc Nelson acknowledged the report but implied that it’s not as bad as it sounds. “The city is continuing to see surpluses. I think we’ve turned the corner from multiple years of deficit after deficit after deficit.”
DiNapoli’s monitoring system was established in 2013 to evaluate local governments on nine financial indicators including fund balance, fixed costs and patterns of operating deficits. Nelson pointed out that DiNapoli’s office upgraded the monitoring system which changed the reporting methodology. Nelson says the new reporting is so that “the state comptroller could better report to the residents and taxpayers exactly what level of stress exists.”
Nelson lauded the reporting program but cited several examples of improvement in Poughkeepsie. He said the city is poised to save between $300,000 and $500,000 annually from the bus consolidation which was also recognized and awarded by the New York State Conference of Mayors. The consolidation program was awarded first place in the entire state for the cost saving measure.
The city has also purchased a new fire engine, new ladder truck, several police cars and a new sanitation truck. “We’re doing a better job of providing services to our residents and taxpayers,” said Nelson. He also pointed out that Mayor Robert Rolison’s most recent budget stayed under the tax cap set by the state and the administration is working on the 2019 budget and hopes to stay under the tax cap as well.