Cold Winter Leads To Overages For City

The cold winter has led to overages for a couple of city departments during the first quarter of the year.

On Monday, Joseph Bellitto, city comptroller, gave a report to city officials detailing revenues and expenditures during the first three months of the year. He said the Public Works and Parks departments’ overtime is at 31 percent for the first quarter. Bellitto said despite being over budget by 6 percent, the departments are still lower than where they were last year at this time. Bellitto said the two departments’ overtime was at 43 percent after the first three months in 2013.

“Because of less snow we used less overtime this year,” Bellitto said. “We used the same percentage of salt, 63 percent, that we did last year at this point. That could be trouble again with the salt budget depending on the last quarter of the year.”

The Public Works Department has used 25 percent of its fuel budget during the first two months of the year, Bellitto said. He also said health care expenditures are up 8.5 percent compared to last year because of some significant claims early in the year.

As for revenues, Bellitto said money the city receives from the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities in lieu of taxes is up. He said based on higher sales for four of the five divisions, more money will be appropriated for the city. Payments in lieu of taxes will increase for electric, water, solid waste and district heat divisions for the first quarter. Wastewater is running short of its budget.

“Electric most notably (has increased) because of the cold winter,” Bellitto said. “Sales are up so payments from them are up.”

Bellitto said the city could be receiving less revenues in sales tax for the first quarter. The city doesn’t receive its sales tax payment until the beginning of May, but expectations are low.

“The state comptroller had mentioned it sounds like sales tax payments will be less than the state had budgeted,” he said.

Bellitto said other revenue categories are approximately where they were budgeted to be through the first three months of the year.