City Council holds budget workshop

FLUSHING — Flushing City Council held a budget workshop on April 29 to address the city’s current and future fiscal year budgets and to receive feedback from city departments.

City department leaders represented at the budget workshop included Flushing Police Chief Mark Hoornstra, Flushing Fire Chief James Michael, Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Tony Nowiski and Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Supervisor Doug Parkinson.

To start the workshop, Mayor Joseph Karlichek discussed the amount of overtime that city police officers have had to put in during the 2019/2020 fiscal budget year, pointing out that overtime costs were 39 percent over budget. Police Chief Hoornstra also provided feedback on the obstacles that his department has faced in filling a full-time police officer position that was budgeted in the current fiscal year and the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

“We are encouraged to see forward movement and hopeful to see this position filled as soon as possible,” Karlichek said. “Additionally, the council is looking to complete the contract with our police officers that has been lingering for two years, reduce the overtime and provide the police protection our citizens expect.”

Fire Chief James Michael said that his department currently has 18 firefighters but is looking to expand to 25 firefighters on the roster. He also indicated that there are capital improvements in the current budget for roof repair and floor apparatus repair at the fire station.

DPW Director Tony Nowiski told the council that his department needs to fill a full-time position, and WWTP Supervisor Doug Parkinson requested for the city to hire an assistant who holds a Class B wastewater license. — B.G.