Ithaca, N.Y. — Ithaca’s Common Council unanimously passed Mayor Svante Myrick’s budget on Thursday night.
The council accepted the vast majority of the mayor’s suggestions in his proposed budget.
That meant turning down some requests from the fire department, which had asked for more money to hire what Chief Tom Parsons said were badly needed personnel.
It does mean more money will be going to the Ithaca Police Department and the Department of Public Works. The mayor prioritized adding more police officers and funding significant increases in roadwork.
“We accepted the mayor’s budget with a couple of exceptions,” said Common Council member Ellen McCollister, who represents the 3rd ward.
“On the budget itself we were all pretty much on the same page … to work really hard to keep the tax rate as low as we could.”
McCollister credited Chief of Staff Kevin Sutherland for proving crucial in guiding the city through the budget process.
Mayor Svante Myrick was in Switzerland for the vote for a conference. Myrick did not himself have to vote on the budget Thursday.
As previously reported, the city’s tax rate will be going down under the budget. Because the assessment on city properties is going up, however, most residents will end up paying more.
McCollister said that the following were among Council’s changes to the mayor’s budget:
— Approval of new fire truck (in the city’s capital, rather than operating, budget).
— Addition of a truck for DPW.
— Subtracted $30,000 for proposed fencing around water tanks.
Overall, McCollister said the tax rate went from $12.84 per $1,000 in assessed value in the mayor’s budget to $12.89. Last year, the tax rate was $13.82 for every $1,000.