Saratoga County

Spending may drop 4% in Malta

Town spending would drop next year, though spending for fire protection would rise, under the tentat

Town spending would drop next year, though spending for fire protection would rise, under the tentative 2013 town budget submitted Monday by Supervisor Paul Sausville.

Total town spending would be just under $8.6 million, down 4 percent from the 2012 budget. Fire protection spending, however, would increase by 4 percent to $1.66 million.

Between a 76-cent-per-$1,000 fire protection tax, 14-cent-per-$1,000 library tax and 1-cent ambulance volunteer incentive tax, town officials said a house assessed at $250,000 would be responsible for about $230 in taxes.

“We have no general fund tax for the 12th straight year,” Sausville said. “The only town taxes we have are those approved by voters.” The town relies on county sales tax and mortgage recording tax for most of its revenue.

Sausville said the biggest cut in the tentative budget was eliminating about $300,000 in new highway equipment purchases to compensate for spending to build a new town highway garage.

“We’re going to try to make do with what we have for another year,” Sausville said.

View budget

The Capital Region Scene has the proposed budget, which can be accessed by clicking HERE.

The new budget also eliminates $248,000 in long-term highway improvements in the Luther Forest Technology Campus, pending negotiations with the technology park’s management.

Sausville is proposing to increase the fire protection budget by $69,000 to pay for professional studies for planning and financing a mid-town fire station to be shared by the Malta Ridge and Round Lake volunteer fire companies.

The downtown station was recommended by a 2009 town fire protection study, which cited the amount of recent development in the center of town, far from the current main fire stations. The two fire companies have agreed and formed a new nonprofit organization to operate the station. But Sausville said more promotion of the plan is needed, and more details on financing are needed.

“Our citizens need to be informed as to why the mid-town station is needed, what the costs will be, explain the consolidation to the public,” Sausville said.

The tentative spending plan also includes $554,000 for highway repair and resurfacing, and $25,000 for a roadside furniture and appliance pickup in the spring. The roadside pickup is done every other year, Sausville said.

The tentative budget includes a 2.93 percent raise for most employees.

The tentative budget will be the subject of a series of workshops the Town Board will hold during October. The budget, with any changes made by the board, will be adopted in November.

“It’s conservative in many ways, but it’s fair,” said Sausville, who is the town budget officer. “We’ve tried to do our best to provide resources to everyone, given our own resources.”

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