Monday, June 9, 2014

WEEK AHEAD: City and school budget discussions; a Great Lakes Initiative webinar; a conversation with Vargas

Posted By on Mon, Jun 9, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Rochester City Council members will continue their review of Mayor Lovely Warren’s 2014-2015 proposed budget.

Warren has proposed a $500 million plan that would increase spending by 3.6 percent and includes $5.8 million from increases in taxes and fees. Warren closed a $38 million budget gap by reducing capital expenses and netting a $6 million one-time increase in state aid.

The review begins at 9:35 a.m. on Tuesday, June 10, and lasts all day. Each city department is given time to appear before Council for questioning on its individual budget.

The breakdown for the meeting:
  • 9:35 a.m.: information technology;
  • 10:40 a.m.: emergency communications; 
  • 11:20 a.m.: fire department; 
  • 1:15 p.m.: police department;
  • 2:45 p.m.: Neighborhood and Business Development;
  • 3:35 p.m.: Department of Environmental Services. 
The meeting is in Council chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street. Council meetings are webcast at www.cityofrochester.gov/councilwebcast. BY CHRISTINE CARRIE FIEN


City Council will hold a public hearing on the Rochester school district’s budget for the 2014-2015 school year on Wednesday, June 11.

This is the second round of hearings for the $782 million budget; the school board and Superintendent Bolgen Vargas have already held several public meetings on it, and board members approved it last month. The budget now goes before City Council. Board members and City Council members will listen to comments at this meeting, but City Council will not vote on the budget until later this month. The meeting will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 30 Church Street, at 5:30 p.m. BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO


A federal Great Lakes task force has released a draft plan for how it’ll approach the next four years of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Today and Tuesday, the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force will hold public webinars on the preliminary plan.

The webinar today starts at 2 p.m. and can be accessed at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/789861232. Tuesday’s webinar starts at 11 a.m. and can be accessed at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/841679520.

Under the GLRI, federal agencies provide funding for projects to improve the Great Lakes’ health. Projects throughout the first four years focused on cleaning up toxic pollution, preventing the introduction or spread of invasive species, reducing pollution from storm water runoff, and restoring coastal wetlands and habit.

Those types of projects will continue over the next four years under the draft plan. But the federal agencies will also prioritize projects that have the largest impact on persistent problems in the Great Lakes. And they’ll consider projects’ ability to withstand or mitigate the effects of climate change. BY JEREMY MOULE


The public will again have a chance to talk with Superintendent Bolgen Vargas when he holds his next Coffee and Conversations meeting, Thursday, June 12. The meetings are designed to let parents, students, and other residents bring their concerns directly to the superintendent. This week’s meeting will be held at the district’s central office, 131 West Broad Street, at 7 a.m. BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO

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