NIAGARA FALLS - A public hearing on the proposed city budget for 2014 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers in City Hall, 745 Main St.
The City Council is reviewing Mayor Paul A. Dyster's proposed spending plan, which calls for a .03-percent increase in the tax rate for residential property and a .01-percent cut in the tax rate on commercial property.
In the end, that means the tax rate for homeowners would go up by about 5 cents for each $1,000 in assessed value under the mayor’s proposal. The business tax rate would decrease by about 30 cents for each $1,000 in assessed value.
The City of Niagara Falls is selling itself to new residents in two new commercials.
The commercials are for the Live NF program, which will pay some student loan debt for recent college graduates who move to the city.
A 30-second version and two-minute version were released earlier this month. Local television stations - including WGRZ, WIVB, WKBW and YNN, as well as OSC 21 on Time Warner Cable - have agreed to air the commercials as public service announcements.
The commercials, which feature city residents and businesses, are part of a proactive effort, said Seth Piccirillo, director of the city's Community Development Department.
"Attracting and retaining people and businesses is a competition," Piccirillo said in an email. "We are competing with the rest of the country and Canada. We need to act like it."
The installation of an elevator at GJ Mann Elementary School and the construction of a maintenance barn behind the district's administration building will be proposed as part of next year's budget, officials said this week.
The total cost - an estimated $720,000 - would be paid for out of a $947,000 reserve the district's been holding onto for workers compensation costs, said Timothy Hyland, the district's administrator for school business services.
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Aaron Besecker joined The Buffalo News in 2007, where he has covered communities in Western New York as a beat reporter, multimedia journalist and assistant online editor. A Buffalo native, he began his career in journalism at the Niagara Gazette.