Jamestown City Council continued to hear details from Departments on the proposed 2022 budget.
City Clerk Jennifer Williams has requested $15,000 in American Rescue Plan monies to purchase a Bill Pay kiosk for City Hall, “You know, for folks, if the office can’t be open, they can run in and pay a parking ticket real quick or pay their BPU bill real quick. Those are two items we can’t take credit cards for in the office, so this would give people the capability to, rather than turning them away and sending them off to an ATM, they could step aside and make their payment right there so they don’t forget about their parking ticket.”
Williams said the kiosk could be set up for other functions as well.
The Assessor’s Office is requesting $300,000 in ARP funds to hold a reassessment in the city. Assessor Lisa Volpe said there hasn’t been a reassessment in 15 years, with the State wanting municipalities to do one every four years.
She said the uniform percentage of value of properties is at 93% which contributes to a higher tax rate due to inequity in values. Volpe explained what could happen if the full evaluation went up to $732 million, “The city could generate an equal amount of tax revenue by decreasing the rate to $22.08-per-thousand, which is about a $1.61-per hundred thousand, as compared to the current rate of $23.69. If the tax rate remained the current $23.69 and it was applied to the new levy amount of $732 million, the city could generate an additional $1,179,203 of tax revenue.”
Volpe said house assessed at $70,000 that saw no change in its value could see a tax decrease of $112.
The Information Technology department is requesting a new employee to help the City of Jamestown combat cyber attacks. IT Director Mark Dean said ARP monies would help fund a systems analyst, “We’ve suffered two attacks, well we didn’t suffer but, we’ve gone through two attacks and spent hours and up all night trying to make sure we weren’t, we didn’t succumb to their attacks. But this new position would be a person who would focus on cyber security as well as the servers and a lot more higher end networking that the city relies on.”
Dean said the analyst also would assist with new software for the Fire Department, which is very high maintenance. He added the new position is needed with the department already behind on projects from last year.
Council has until November 10th to file budget amendments with a public hearing needing to be scheduled by November 19th. Council must vote on a budget on November 29th in order to meet the December 1st deadline.
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