City park upgrades put on hold

By Michelle Costanza

City park upgrades put on hold

October 26, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton lawmakers look to cut over $2 million from the upcoming year's capital improvement projects, but repairs are not off the long-term agenda.

Mayor Matthew Ryan's original proposal amounted to $16 million of municipal borrowing, a figure that would put the city at it's borrowing limit.

Council members explained that this plan would have also maxed out the possibility for further borrowing under state aid, if the need arose.

Through the budgeting process, City Council proposed to reduce this figure by $2.3 million.

The cuts would come at a cost though. One that was met with concern from one resident at a public hearing on Friday.

While the substantial cut would put the municipality in a better place financially, upgrades to several parks and pools would be temporarily jeopardized.

If the budget passes, renovations to Cheri-Lindsay Park, Recreation Park tennis courts, south side pools, and seven city parks' bathroom facilities would be put on hold.

"We cut what we though we couldn't get to this year. They're all very good projects, but you can only do so much in a year, and we'll revisit those projects next year," explained Chis Papastrat, Councilman 5th District.

Papastrat noted that if the budget is passed, council members have allotted enough money to allow for design studies to take place in 2014 so the projects could continue to move forward.

Lawmakers said that the money being borrowed for many of the Capital Improvement Projects slotted for completion this fiscal year are close to 95 percent reimbursable through the state and federal government.

The final budget is set for adoption on Oct. 30.

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