Merging its parking authority with other municipal agencies could save distressed Yonkers, N.Y., about $2.7 million over a four-year financial plan, according to a report.
In addition, the report by inspector general Dan Schorr said the city would receive a one-time cash influx of $1.1 million from the Yonkers Parking Authority investment account, although YPA management reports that roughly half of those funds are already committed to be used for capital improvements.
“Consolidation with the city would lead to significant cost savings for the city of Yonkers,” Schorr said in his report to the City Council last week.
Mayor Mike Spano, elected last fall, campaigned on a theme of merging redundant departments. “Consolidation will lead to millions of dollars in savings for Yonkers taxpayers,” he said in a statement.
Moody’s Investors Service last October lowered the city’s general obligation bond rating to Baa1 from A2, and dropped its outlook to negative from stable.
The independent Commission of Inquiry on Finances reported three weeks ago that Yonkers faces an estimated $89.3 million shortfall for 2013 and a nearly $465 million shortfall over three years. Shortly after his election, Spano appointed former Lieut. Gov. Richard Ravitch and former state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky to oversee the panel.
“First, there was an unacceptable level of uncertainty about the city’s actual financial situation. Second, the city’s historic use of budget gimmicks had created a structural gap between recurring expenditures and recurring revenues,” the commission said.
Spano last week introduced his proposed 2013 executive budget of $938 million, including school funding. It called for layoffs of police officers, firefighters and public works employees, and a 3.7% property tax increase, while sustaining education spending.
“With more than 70% of the city’s expenses going towards salaries and benefits, the one major step in balancing the budget is to reduce our personnel costs,” the mayor said.