Flooding Costs Prompt Delay on City Budget

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City Hall
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PATERSON, NJ – The financial impact of Hurricane Irene has forced city officials to delay the introduction of the fiscal 2012 budget.

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The City Council had been scheduled to take a preliminary vote on the budget – which includes a $38 million deficit – at a meeting last week. But that session was canceled because of flooding. Now officials have to revise the budget to take into account the massive costs incurred because of Hurricane Irene, said Business Administrator Charles Thomas.

Mayor Jeffrey Jones said the city has not yet calculated the price-tag from flood for municipal government. Many firefighters, police officers, public works employees and other city worker put in numerous hours of overtime during the past 10 days, officials said.

Jones said the Federal Emergency Management Agency would pay up to 75 percent of the overtime costs, but the rest of the expense would have to be borne by the city.

After enduring a 29-percent property tax increase and almost 400 layoffs last fiscal year, the city again is faced with financial crisis, officials said.

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