City of Plattsburgh, NY
Clinton County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 8-17-2017 by L.L. No. 5-2017]
On or before October 8 of each year, the Mayor shall submit to the Common Council, and file with the City Clerk, a budget for the ensuing fiscal year and an accompanying message. The budget and message shall be available to the public and the Clerk shall publish notice of a public hearing to be held not sooner than seven days following publishing of the Mayor's budget and the accompanying message, and no later than 28 days following the publishing of the Mayor's budget and the accompanying message. As used in this article, the term "publish" means to print in the contemporary means of information sharing, which includes, but is not limited to, one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City, and, if available, a City website.
The Mayor's message shall explain the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the work programs, linking those programs to organizational goals and community priorities. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the City for the ensuing fiscal year and the impact of those policies on future years. It shall describe the important features of the budget, indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues together with the reasons for such changes, summarize the City's debt position, including factors affecting the ability to raise resources through debt issues, and include such other material as the Mayor deems desirable. The term "major change" includes, but is not limited to: a deficit or surplus that is more than 5% of the current year's budgeted amount for a department or program; a new program or activity which will include a description of the need, cost, and funding source.
The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all City funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by law or this Charter, shall be in such form as the Common Council may require. The budget shall begin with a clear general summary of its contents; shall show in detail all estimated income, indicating the proposed property tax levy, utility rates, and other fees and charges, and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the ensuing fiscal year; it shall indicate in separate sections:
A. 
How each department's or program's expenditures comport with the City's goals and objectives, including the method of financing such expenditures; and
B. 
Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year consistent with the five year capital program, detailed for each fund by organization unit when practicable, and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure; and
C. 
The anticipated income and expense, and profit and loss, for the ensuing year for each utility and any department or program operated by the City which derives more than 50% of its operating revenues from fees or charges. Such budgets shall include all income and expenses, including the estimated cost of expenses not paid directly by the department or program, such as property insurance, equipment depreciation, employee benefit expenses and support services provided by other departments or programs. The operating budget shall include the number and amount of delinquent customer accounts more than 60, and 120 days past due. The amount of general fund revenue budgeted for use by such department shall be clearly identified. For any fund, the total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income plus carried forward fund balance, exclusive of reserves.
A. 
Amendment before adoption. After the public hearing, the Common Council may adopt the budget with or without amendment. In amending the budget, it may add or increase programs or amounts and may delete or decrease any programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law or for debt service or for an estimated cash deficit, provided that no amendment to the budget shall increase the authorized expenditures to an amount greater than total estimated income. An amendment shall be supported by the information required to be included in the budget and budget message submitted by the Mayor.
B. 
Adoption. The Common Council shall adopt the budget and necessary implementing ordinances not later than 14 days after the start of the fiscal year.
C. 
Failure to adopt. If the Common Council fails to adopt a budget within 14 days of the start of the fiscal year, the budget submitted by the Mayor and all implementing ordinances shall take effect.
Not later than 14 days after the start of the fiscal year, the Common Council shall adopt ordinances or enact local laws:
A. 
Appropriating funds by department or board for each separately budgeted program or activity.
B. 
Establishing tax rates and authorizing real property tax levies to raise the budgeted amount of real property tax revenue.
C. 
Establishing new or increased taxes, fees or charges, the estimated revenues from which are included in the budget. If a law imposing a tax, fee or charge authorizes changes in the rate(s) or amount(s) by resolution, a change may be made by resolution.
The budget may be amended after it is adopted, as follows:
A. 
Supplemental appropriations. If during the fiscal year the Mayor certifies that there are available for appropriation revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the Common Council by ordinance may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of such excess.
B. 
Emergency appropriations. To meet a public emergency, or to pay a judgment against the City, or a catastrophic loss in an amount in excess of the City's insurance coverage, the Common Council may make emergency appropriations. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues or a sufficient fund balance to meet such appropriations, the Council may borrow funds to pay such costs on such terms as are permitted by the Local Finance Law.
C. 
Reduction of appropriations. If it appears to the Mayor that there is likely to be insufficient revenue or unappropriated funds to pay an appropriation, he or she shall promptly inform the Common Council of the amount of the estimated deficit and recommend a course of action. The Common Council may, by ordinance or resolution, reduce one or more unencumbered appropriations to eliminate such deficit.
D. 
Transfer of appropriations. The Common Council may, by resolution, transfer an unencumbered appropriation from one budget category to another. The Mayor may transfer an appropriation for an activity or program within a department to another activity or program within such department and shall inform the Council of such action on or before the next regular Council meeting.
E. 
Public borrowings. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit the City's borrowing powers under the Local Finance Law.
A. 
Submission to City Council. The Mayor shall prepare and submit to the Common Council a five-year capital program no later than October 8.
B. 
Contents. The capital program shall include:
(1) 
A clear general summary of its contents;
(2) 
Identification of the long-term goals of the community;
(3) 
A list of all capital improvements and other capital expenditures which are proposed to be undertaken during the fiscal years next ensuing, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for each;
(4) 
Cost estimates and recommended time schedules for each improvement or other capital expenditure;
(5) 
Method of financing upon which each capital expenditure is to be reliant;
(6) 
The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired;
(7) 
A commentary on how the plan addresses the sustainability of the community and the region of which it is a part; and
(8) 
Methods to measure outcomes and performance of the capital plan related to the long-term goals of the community.
C. 
The capital program shall be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.
A. 
Notice and hearing. The Common Council shall publish the general summary of the capital program and a notice stating:
(1) 
The times and places where copies of the capital program are available for inspection by the public, and
(2) 
The time and place for a public hearing(s) on the capital program which shall be held not sooner than October 15 or later than October 22.
B. 
Adoption. The Common Council by resolution shall adopt the capital program with or without amendment after the public hearing and on or before the 14th day after the start of the fiscal year.
C. 
Failure to adopt. If the Common Council fails to adopt a capital program within the time stated in the preceding section, the capital program submitted to the Council by the Mayor shall take effect.
All unspent and unencumbered appropriations shall lapse at the end of each fiscal year, except unspent and unencumbered appropriations for capital projects which shall lapse at the end of two years from the fiscal year in which such funds were appropriated.
No payment shall be made or obligation incurred against any allotment or appropriation except in accordance with appropriations duly made and unless the Mayor or the City chamberlain first certifies that there is an unencumbered appropriation to pay such expense. Any authorization of payment or incurring of obligation, in violation of the provisions of this article, shall be void, and any payment so made illegal. Any City officer or employee who knowingly pays, or causes the City to become obligated to pay, any expense without an appropriation sufficient to pay the cost thereof shall be liable to the City for the amount so paid and may be removed from office or discharged. This section does not prohibit the City from entering into contracts, leases or other obligations which require the City to make payments over more than one fiscal year.
A. 
The Common Council shall provide for an independent annual audit of all City accounts and may provide for more frequent audits as it deems necessary. An independent certified public accountant or firm of such accountants shall make such audits. The auditor will conduct the audit in compliance with the current Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the State Board for Public Accountancy.
B. 
Such audits should be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards (GAAS) and generally accepted governmental auditing standards (GAGAS).
C. 
The Council shall designate no fewer than three of its members to serve as an Audit Committee. This Committee shall:
(1) 
Lead the process of selecting an independent auditor;
(2) 
Direct the work of the independent auditor as to the scope of the annual audit and any matters of concern with respect to internal controls; and
(3) 
Receive the report of the independent auditor and present that report to the Council with any recommendations from the Committee.
D. 
The Council shall, using competitive bidding procedures for professional services, designate such accountant or firm annually, or for a period not exceeding three years, but the designation for any particular fiscal year shall be made no later than 30 days after the beginning of such fiscal year. The standard for independence is that the auditor must be capable of exercising objective and impartial judgment on all issues encompassed within the audit engagement. No accountant or firm may provide any other services to the City during the time it is retained to provide independent audits to the City.
Copies of the budget, capital program, independent audits, and appropriation and revenue ordinances shall be public records.
A. 
No civil action shall be maintained against the City for damages or injuries to person or property sustained in consequence of any street, highway, bridge, culvert, sidewalk or crosswalk being defective, out of repair, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed unless, previous to the occurrence resulting in such damages or injury, written notice of the defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition of said street, highway, bridge, culvert, sidewalk or crosswalk was actually given to the Superintendent of Public Works and there was a failure or neglect within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice to repair or remove the defect, danger or obstruction complained of. No such action shall be maintained for damages or injuries to the person or property sustained solely in consequence of the existence of snow or ice upon any sidewalk, crosswalk or street unless written notice thereof, relating to the particular place, was actually given to the Superintendent of Public Works and there was a failure or neglect to cause such snow or ice to be removed or the place otherwise made reasonably safe within a reasonable time after the receipt of such notice.
B. 
The City shall not be liable in a civil action for damages or injuries to person or property or invasion of personal or property rights of any name or nature whatsoever, whether casual or continuing, arising at law or in equity, alleged to have been caused or sustained, in whole or in part, by or because of any omission of duty, wrongful act, fault, neglect, misfeasance or negligence on the part of the City or any of its agents, officers or employees unless a notice of claim shall have been made and served in compliance with § 50-e of the General Municipal Law nor unless an action shall be commenced thereon within one year after the happening of such accident or injury or the occurrence of such act, omission, fault or neglect; but no action shall be commenced to recover upon or enforce any such claim against the City until the expiration of three months after the service of said notice. Nothing herein contained, however, shall be held to revive any claim or cause now barred by any existing requirement or statute of limitations or to waive any existing limitation now applicable to any claim or cause of action against the City.
C. 
All actions brought against the City upon any contract liability expressed or implied must be commenced within one year from the time that the cause of action accrued.
D. 
Where a claim has been filed against the City or any of its servants, agents, employees, boards or representatives for any cause whatsoever demanding payment of a sum of money, the Chamberlain of the City of Plattsburgh by the service of a notice on the claimant, either personally or by registered or certified mail, may require said claimant to appear and be examined in connection with such claim and, when so sworn, to answer as to any facts relating to the justness of such claim and as to all facts and circumstances surrounding the occurrence or happening upon which the claim is based, including the extent and nature of the damages or injuries for which the claim is made.
E. 
No action shall be commenced against the City or its servants, agents, employees, boards or representatives unless the claimant has duly complied with the request for examination by the Chamberlain as herein set forth, and failure to comply shall be deemed a complete defense to any action.
The Common Council shall provide by law procedures for administration and fiduciary oversight of the budget.
A. 
A claim is a demand presented for the payment of money due for goods that have been delivered, services that have been provided, or compensation for damages.
B. 
The City Chamberlain may adopt rules, procedures and forms for the presentation of claims by claimants and City officers and departments.
C. 
The Common Council shall audit claims and allow or disallow claims in whole or part. The Common Council may, by local law not subject to referendum, delegate its auditing responsibility and authority to another body or official.
D. 
The following claims may be paid without prior audit, but shall be reported on the abstract of claims:
(1) 
Public utility services, postage, freight, and express charges.
(2) 
Payments from authorized petty cash funds.
(3) 
Fixed salaries of officers or employees regularly engaged at agreed-upon wages by the hour, day, week, month, year, or other authorized period, including any payroll withholdings.
(4) 
Principal or interest payments on debt.
(5) 
Payments made pursuant to a court order.
(6) 
Amounts due upon lawful contracts for periods exceeding one year.
(7) 
Retirement contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System as billed by the State Comptroller.
E. 
The City Chamberlain shall prepare an "abstract of claims" listing all claims audited and approved for payment which shall include the claim number, name of claimant, amount approved, fund, and appropriation account chargeable. An abstract of claims shall be presented at each regular Common Council meeting. The Chamberlain's presentation of the abstract of claims is a certification that:
(1) 
The claim is for a valid and legal purpose.
(2) 
The purchase is authorized and approved.
(3) 
There are sufficient appropriations to pay the claim.
(4) 
The claim is mathematically correct.
(5) 
The claim meets legal and policy requirements in relation to competitive bidding or, when permitted, competitive offering, and the requirements of the City's procurement policy.
(6) 
Other adopted policies have been followed.
F. 
The abstract of claims shall be reviewed and approved by a pre-audit committee of the Common Council which shall consist of any three members of the Common Council, including the Mayor. The pre-audit committee shall review the abstract of claims, and supporting documentation deemed necessary, and recommend approval or disapproval to the Common Council. The pre-audit committee members are not required to meet as a committee, but may review claims individually. The committee members shall indicate their review of claims by signing the abstract of claims.