Weekly Link Round Up


The weekly link roundup is a collection of links related to Newburgh, revitalization, urban planning and anything else that might inspire change or create dialogue. Photo by NR flick pool user Steven Rosas

N’burgh unveils $43.3M spending plan [THR]
America’s newest hipster hot spot: the suburbs? [WP]
Recycling Land for Solar Energy Development [APA]
How to Find Contractors and Architects for Your Historic Home Renovation [PN]
Everyone Wants to Copy This Pedestrian Bridge (It’s Not the High Line) [Next City]
1940s America – The Start of Small Town Decline? [New Localization]
All the Places The New York Times Has Compared to Brooklyn [Atlantic]
How a Small Portland Factory Is Leading a New Makers Movement [Metropolis]
Newburgh to help cover shortfall for Hudson Valley Lighting project [HV Blogs]
Second Empire Style in the Hudson Valley [Design Sponge]
The Tour de Neglect: a cycle ride through Buffalo’s deprived East Side [Guardian]

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4 Comment

  • Same play book, different year. Many revenue sources collected for 2014 will fall below the proposed expectations, in fact , they will fall short of actual revenues collected in the previous year 2013. No surprise, as the anticipated revenues were inflated. None the less, the proposed anticipated revenues for 2015 are equal to or exceed the revenues of 2013. Breaking the budget down, an increasing amount is being allocated to personnel related expenses. So while it is being claimed that services are not being cut, in fact the service provider’s costs are increasing while the actual services provided indeed are shrinking proportionately. Riddle me this: why are revenues related to code violations and mortgage tax anticipated to decline relative to 2013? That doesn’t jibe with a ‘City looking to enforce codes and sell houses. The savings is coming from cutting office supplies and postage. Oh, what happened to that near $1mil. short fall? Well, they were able to ‘identify surplus funds within the departments’. In between the cushions?
    092214 (15 minutes in)
    The new budget is open ended. ‘Failures in infrastructure will be built into rates…’ and, just like last year, a static tax levy does not equate to no tax rate increase.
    092214 (1:33:20 and 1:47:35 respectively)
    As per the HV Lighting Project; in the past a developer, be it commercial or residential, had to pay for infrastructure, it’s a cost of doing business…assume the risk in anticipation of profit. This HV Lighting project sits on an already cleaned up brown-field and the business is very profitable. It’s corporate welfare that is also open-ended as Newburgh has committed itself to “future support” in lieu of being black-mailed with the threat of departure. A property owner must pay for improvements, will more than likely support the economy by using local labor and yet will be taxed increasingly. BS…Pony Up.

    • As Mr. Slaughter has been thrown under the bus, it is worth remembering that while he was heralded by many for proposing a “balanced budget” for 2014, his role should have been apparent and his dismissal should come as no surprise. As per responsibility of the ostensible budget,depends…
      (1:58:30 in or 2:47:50 in for the rebuttal).
      ‘Looking to the State Comptroller and its recommendations on the budget, still vague: ‘The City Council must review and make adjustments’ (pg.1). Doesn’t “must” imply enforcement by the state? The report concludes with “The Board has the responsibility to initiate corrective action” (pg.4)…
      Given the reality of the numbers, it was and is a paradox of responsibility… do nothing or do something and hope you’re standing on the right side of the curb when s.h.t.f..

    • Well, those at the big table have finally acknowledged that the tax ‘levy’ is not the same as the tax ‘rate’; at the recent City Council meeting they hashed this concept out. It was also stated that the estimated total assessment value of ‘City parcels will be down 5.5% which may give a rise in the tax rate. Plugging the lowered assessment value into the equation, this works out to a 2.5% city rate increase in the aggregate providing the proposed budget remains the same. The tax levy collection process itself will be, let’s say, subjective.
      (11:45 in)

      • A property tax increase is certain if the 2015 budgeted expenses are not reduced. It is now
        guesstimated that total property tax revenues (levy) will be approx. $ 4 mil. short relative to last year’s almost $ 20 mil.. This works out to a almost 20% decrease in Newburgh’s total assessment values. Read that again. Not the 5.5 % guesstimated a couple of weeks ago. This works out to a 9 % city tax rate increase in the aggregate if the proposed budget remains the same.
        -The assessments for which the 2015 budget are based on came out in March 2014. The discrepancy should have been noted months ago and the budget adjusted accordingly.
        -Is the shortfall due to an actual 20% valuation decrease, a surge in delinquencies/defaults or both ? They are both structural economic problems that cannot do a 180 overnight,in a month or even a year.
        None the less, it’s a huge ‘miss’ by the City’s bean counters. As well, the Comptroller seems to be tooling for Wall Street as he alluded to a possible down grade to the City’s credit rating should it fail to raise taxes as opposed to cutting expenses to meet budget. BS. The only ones taking a hit would be the current bond holders with regards to the bond valuations they hold…and, ironically, those bonds are pooled into public pension portfolios. That’s what this is all about. Newburgh is just a sample that’s relative to us locals. Cities, counties and states can no longer afford themselves and they are beginning to pale as the host, aka tax payer, has been bled dry. The one sided austerity has just about run its coarse. Orange County just paraded a balanced budget as well. They’ll be back next year scrambling to cover a deficit as well. Perhaps the City’s Comptroller is fully aware of the odds of mutual austerity happening and is merely foreshadowing the City’s dire straights and future need to issue debt. He sees a City of Mainz otherwise.

        Also, the subject of “mill & fill” was brought up at the meeting. Why lay new black top on the streets when the underlying infrastructure is exponentially in need of repair warranting digging up the pavement on a continual basis ? The City can’t even afford to keep the streets clean. Who are we fooling ?