City of Poughkeepsie Looking for Reductions to Cover Stella’s $450K Tab
On March 14, the Hudson Valley was visited by Mother Nature's most angry storm of the winter: Stella. Her visit left over two feet of snow in the Hudson Valley and caused major financial woes for several towns and cities, including the City of Poughkeepsie.
According to Mayor Rob Rolison, snow-operations were in effect for 24 hours a day for six straight days just to get the financially struggling city out from under the snow. Over 4,000 personnel hours between the City's DPW, Police, and Fire departments, along with equipment, repairs, salt, fuel and contractual labor will cost approximately $450,000 leading to money issues in other departments.
Rolison has instructed the City's Commissioner of Finance to work with all department heads to identify areas where reductions in spending can be made for the remainder of the year. While the city's financial position has been improving recently, taxpayers were still hit with a 16.5 percent tax increase as of January to help offset poor budgeting practices of the previous administration.
In addition to the City's workforce, Governor Cuomo allocated NYSDOT personnel and equipment along with members of the NY Army National Guard to help the City remove snow from emergency routes, intersections, and large snow banks, paying special attention to school-crossing intersections.
Dutchess County also provided manpower and equipment from March 16 through March 19.The City also used the services of three private companies to haul snow to out-of-the-way locations like College Hill Park.
Mayor Rolison praised a wide array of people by saying "this event placed a significant burden on us all. I see this as an example of government working at its best, of public-sector employees from three levels of government stepping up to get it done, and of what can be accomplished when we work together with coordination and efficiency."
He continued by saying "I'd like to thank the dedicated City of Poughkeepsie employees along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and State personnel and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and County personnel for their tireless efforts in getting our City back up and running as soon as possible."