BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Binghamton residents do not have to use blue bags for garbage collection and parking meters will not be enforced until May. The move is meant to offer some financial relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Rich David made the announcement on Monday. He estimates not buying blue bags will save city residents $130,000. He doesn’t expect free parking to save as much money during a time when government offices are closed and restaurants are take-out only, but he said it’s not right for families who are struggling to have to pay a parking ticket.
“There’s only so many things as mayor that I can do from a financial standpoint but it’s important that the residents know that we’re literally combing through every department and every function that we have to see what we can do to provide relief,” David said.
Binghamton won’t be booting vehicles.
The lost revenue will need to be made up, but David claimed it will not come from taxpayers.
“The City of Binghamton and every city across the nation is going to take a massive financial hit in regards to revenues,” he said. “So I’m going to have to make some tough decisions down the road, but I’m prepared to do that. I’ve made tough decisions in the past, and I’m simply not going to pass this cost along to taxpayers and ratepayers.”
David is pursuing assistance from the state and federal government. The mayor added that the city has been building up its rainy day fund for an emergency like this. That stands at approximately $20 million.
David said they’re finalizing a plan to help small businesses to be announced later this week.