Schenectady County

Glenville adopts $17.9M 2009 budget

The Town Board on Wednesday passed a $17.9 million budget with about a 3.5 percent tax rate increase

The Town Board on Wednesday passed a $17.9 million budget with about a 3.5 percent tax rate increase.

The budget will result in an estimated tax increase of $18 for a home assessed at an average of $173,000. The current average bill for town taxes is $515.

Corresponding figures for Scotia taxpayers were not immediately available.

The board shaved about 4 percentage points off the proposed tax rate increase from the preliminary budget with some last-minute changes. Town Administrator Tony Germano reduced nonpersonnel expenditures such as equipment and supplies by anywhere from 5 percent to 7 percent across all departments. In addition, the board trimmed the amount of money it would have to contribute to the New York State Retirement System, reducing the budget by $88,000. Also, the board approved Councilman Mark Quinn’s amendment for a $30,000 reduction in appropriations.

The budget uses $1.1 million of the surplus, or fund balance.

Members of the public had spoken out in favor of less spending to hold taxes down.

Scott Bryson said the town needs to stop raising taxes and disagreed with the effort to tap more of the surplus.

“Do not spend our fund balance too low because you’re going to need it in 2010. All you have to do is watch the news,” he said. Bob Gebo said the town should consider cutting town hall hours and reducing employees to part time and getting more productivity out of existing workers.

“You have to run this town like it’s a business,” he said.

In other business, Councilman Chris Koetzle introduced a zoning proposal intended to help out used car dealer Rick DiCresce, who has moved to a new location farther up Freemans Bridge Road after he had to vacate his old site for construction of the Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. The town has cited DiCresce for not being in compliance with zoning because used car sales are not permitted in the new location — formerly home to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Koetzle’s proposal would allow businesses on sites that are not currently in compliance with the zoning ordinance and are displaced by a conforming business to move to another noncomforming site. This would help in DiCresce’s case.

“It gives him an ability to keep doing business,” he said.

The board will hold a public hearing on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. on this proposal.

Town Supervisor Frank Quinn said this would not be a quick process because any change to the ordinance has to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Conservation Commission. In addition, DiCresce would need site plan approval.

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