The Oneonta Common Council tonight will consider raising ambulance fees and transferring some balances among other steps toward formulating a 2014 budget.

The Common Council will meet at City Hall, 258 Main St., at 7 p.m. However, before the regular meeting, officials will present details about the Housing Visions grant during a briefing in Common Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

The council has been working to close a projected funding gap in the 2014 budget proposal. Last week, members at a Finance Committee meeting discussed a revision that lessens the gap by eliminating four unfilled positions — two each in the police and fire departments.

Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller estimated the savings from the four cuts at about $250,000. The cuts in the fire department after two projected retirements would be consistent with the city’s earlier task force study and not jeopardize community safety, he said.

A separate task force currently is reviewing police department staffing and issues. Miller said Sunday that he expects the department chiefs to be at Tuesday’s meeting.

“There’s a lot more to be discussed about this,” Miller said.

Discussion about the 2014 budget proposal will continue after the business portion of the council’s meeting Tuesday night. The budget is in the closing stages of gathering comments, Miller said, and will be laid on the table later this month in preparation for approval.

Last week, City Manager Michael Long presented a revised $15 million budget that has a $265,703 shortfall, below a previously targeted deficit, which would be covered by an unappropriated fund balance.

According to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, a motion proposes using almost $600,000 for capital works next year, including street projects and improvements to the bathhouse at the swimming pool in Wilber Park, to the Susquehanna Greenway and to the entrance to Neahwa Park.

The sources are excess funds previously authorized for other projects, according to the motion.

Ambulance fees are proposed to rise to $900, $1,000 and $1,100 depending on basic or advanced life support, according to a motion.

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