Schenectady County

Glenville supervisor’s plan for ’12 budget hikes levy 3.3 percent

Taxes for the average Glenville resident would go up about $18 under the 2012 budget proposed by Sup

Taxes for the average Glenville resident would go up about $18 under the 2012 budget proposed by Supervisor Chris Koetzle.

Koetzle’s $18.2 million spending plan would raise the tax levy about 3.3 percent. The spending plan complies with the 2 percent tax cap because state law allows municipalities to exclude state-mandated pension costs from counting toward the cap.

“If it wasn’t for the mandates that they place on us, we would be well below it,” Koetzle said.

If this budget were adopted, a homeowner with an average assessment of $173,000 would pay about $571 in town property taxes.

Much of the budget goes toward special districts like sewer and fire. In the town’s three major funds — general, town outside the village and highway — Koetzle is proposing to spend $11.6 million, which is a decrease of $150,000 from last year. Of that, about $5.7 million is raised through taxes.

The bulk of the decrease in expenses is savings from the recently implemented six-month hiring freeze. The town has several open positions that will not immediately be filled, including a police detective and deputy town clerk. Deputy Highway Superintendent Jeff Gemmette is also retiring, and Koetzle anticipates another retirement or two this year.

The town is saving about $150,000 in health insurance costs because of concessions such as increased co-payments.

Koetzle’s budget also proposes to save $12,000 by reducing contributions to programs the town does not run, including youth summer recreation, Collins Park and Freedom Park in Scotia, the Scotia-Glenville Memorial Day Parade and the Scotia-Glenville Museum.

“We didn’t cut anything out, but we did trim back on some,” he said.

Koetzle was able to reduce the leaf pickup program’s budget by $10,000 because the town no longer has to pay tipping fees at the county landfill — it received a state permit to dispose of the leaves in its park, where it is turned into compost. The service itself will not be affected.

Koetzle said he wanted to protect town services with this budget. “That’s why I spread the cuts out in so many different places,” he said.

Also, the town has not added any new fees.

He is cutting $76,000 from the Highway Department’s paving, fuel and equipment line. The town will not be able to purchase two new trucks but will see if it can purchase a used one. Also, instead of purchasing two new police cruisers as it has done every year, the town will purchase only one and will not buy it outright but use a bond anticipation note.

He has also trimmed the overtime line item by $10,000.

Koetzle plans to cross-train more town employees so they can shift to different positions as needed.

The town is saving $6,000 in energy costs because of its new solar program and has the potential for another $70,000 in savings because of a new contract for lower electricity rates.

The Town Board will get its first chance to talk about the budget at its meeting at 7:30 this evening at Town Hall. Also at that meeting, the board will hold a public hearing on a local law to consider breaking the tax cap. Koetzle said the town needed to hold a hearing and adopt this law in order to have the option of overriding the cap, should it choose to do so.

On Oct. 19, there will be a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. on the budget. Final adoption is expected at the Nov. 9 meeting.

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