The suggestions made during the City of Rochester’s Voice of the Citizen budget meetings aren’t really surprising. It’s also not clear how these relatively small adjustments would help the city close its $28 million gap.
City officials offered four opportunities — one in each quadrant — for the public to provide input on the upcoming budget. Mayor Tom Richards is supposed to present the 2013 to 2014 budget this Friday, May 17.
The biggest surprise is that the public — at least the ones who attended one of the meetings or filled out an online survey — support the closing of Durand Eastman beach. The move would save the city approximately $185,400 a year.
According to the report issued by the city, 53 percent of online survey takers approved of a 2 percent increase in the property tax levy. But people who attended the forum preferred generating more revenue through existing fees and fines, including issuing more parking tickets.
A 2 percent levy increase would raise approximately $3.2 million a year, and cause, on average, a $27 increase in your property tax bill.
Forum participants also supported cutting or reducing the Mounted Patrol, cutting money for public art, and deferring some capital projects.
In general, participants were opposed to cuts to libraries, rec centers, firefighters and fire companies.
The full report on the Voice of the Citizen budget meetings is below.