Youngstown council approves the city’s 2013 budget
Mayor says budget will ‘give the taxpayers better services’
Without much comment, city council approved Youngstown’s $167.8 million budget for this year.
Council voted 7-0 for the spending plan Wednesday.
The budget was discussed at seven council hearings with department heads between Jan. 14 and March 11. All hearings were done without a complete budget document.
Council met Monday after receiving the proposal the previous Friday to give it another look. Few council members had anything to say Monday, and even less Wednesday.
“With this budget, we’re going to give the taxpayers better services,” Mayor Charles Sammarone said moments before council adjourned.
Sammarone was referring to $7.3 million being spent on equipment purchases and capital- improvement projects.
Of note is $174,460 for equipment needed by the street department to demolish vacant houses, and $280,000 for two new snowplows.
The new equipment will make the street department more efficient, said Sean McKinney, buildings and grounds commissioner.
The police department will get $183,800 for five new police cars.
There is $700,000 budgeted for a new fire station on Midlothian Boulevard.
Much of the $7.3 million in projects and equipment purchases came from $2.9 million the city received from a land lease with V&M Star for the company’s $1.1 billion expansion, $1 million expected this year in state casino-tax funds, and $2.5 million to $3 million the city is saving this year from an employee early-retirement buyout.
The city hasn’t spent close to that amount of money on capital- improvement projects and equipment purchases in at least 25 years, city officials said.
Also in the budget is $100,000 for a city planner, a position empty for four years. City officials likely will decide next month whether to hire a person for that job or go with a consulting firm, Sammarone said.
The planner largely is responsible for developing strategic planning to improve neighborhoods with a focus on targeted demolition.