NIAGARA FALLS - Mayor Paul A. Dyster announced this afternoon that he needs more time to create the city's 2013 budget in the wake of a worsening fiscal crisis.
Dyster was slated to present the budget to the City Council at 4 p.m. but told Council members he needed up to two additional weeks to finalize the document.
"I have been working very diligently with the City Controller, City Administrator and all department heads to develop a balanced budget in these very difficult financial times," Dyster said. "While many options have been explored and implemented in this process, I am not satisfied that all options have been exhausted."
The mayor said the decision to postpone the budget presentation was made this afternoon, and the city workers and union leaders who came to council chambers apparently did not receive the message.
Dyster declined to specify which options the city has yet to explore but said the finalized budget will be ready by Oct. 15, the next Council meeting, or sooner.
"I'd rather get them a strong budget a little but late that a weaker one on time," Dyster said.
The city has been struggling to close what Dyster has called a "multimillion-dollar gap" in the budget created by rising employee costs, a dwindling tax base and $58 million in unpaid revenues from the Seneca Niagara Casino.