LOCKPORT – The Common Council decided Wednesday to meet Nov. 14 for a work session to try to complete the 2013 city budget.
Alderman Kenneth M. Genewick, R-5th Ward, said, “We should just stay [Nov. 14] until we get it done.”
If it isn’t done, the Council will reconvene Nov. 19, Council President Joseph C. Kibler said. The Council is planning to adopt the budget Nov. 21. It includes an 8.52 percent tax rate increase.
“We want it at zero,” said Alderwoman Anne E. McCaffrey, R-2nd Ward.
City officials have said they need concessions from the five unions to avoid layoffs and a tax increase. But it’s clear there won’t be five settlements by Nov. 21.
“We’re going to make some assumptions,” Mayor Michael W. Tucker said.
Tucker said he has scheduled only one bargaining session so far with a city union, a Tuesday meeting with the Hickory Club Police Benevolent Association.
Meanwhile, the Council awarded a contract for the removal of some spent foundry sand from the former Dussault Foundry site at the foot of Washburn Street.
Pinto Construction Services of Buffalo was the lowest of six bidders at $55,670.
However, the resolution said a grant from the Niagara County Brownfields Development Corp. will fund up to $130,000 worth of work at the site in case of overruns.
“We have $130,000 left over from the last cleanup,” Tucker said.
The county agency has made two grants to the city, totaling $350,000, for work at Dussault.
Last year, there were demolitions and removal of PCB-contaminated soil whose existence was discovered during the demolitions. Also removed was a buried foundry oven that contained asbestos.
Tucker said the sand, which is lying on the ground, was used for sandblasting paint on buildings and also contains asbestos. It was not part of the earlier removal project at the city-owned site.
He said part will be removed and the rest paved over. The city plans a parking lot at the site, which is a block from the site of Lockport’s planned ice arena.
The aldermen also signed the final version of the city’s response to a state Comptroller’s Office audit that criticized the city’s handling of financial matters.
In other matters, Tucker reappointed Lynn Harper and W. Kevin Foltz to new three-year terms on the Zoning Board of Appeals. City Clerk Richelle J. Pasceri also announced that City Hall will be closed Monday in observance of Veterans Day, but the garbage collection schedule will not be altered.