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Split vote OK’s $12.9M town budget

Split vote OK’s $12.9M town budget

Niskayuna’s 2010 town budget was approved, including a property tax rate increase of just under 3

Niskayuna’s 2010 town budget was approved, including a property tax rate increase of just under 3 percent.

The board approved the budget by a vote of 3-to-2.

Outgoing board members Diane O’Donnell and Maria Freund voted against the plan without offering comment Tuesday.

Supervisor Joe Landry and board members Julie McDonnell and Liz Orzel Kasper voted for the plan, Kasper seemingly casting the deciding vote.

“I didn’t think it would come down to this,” Kasper said. “I’m not happy with a lot of areas of this budget, but I’ve voiced them and voiced them and gotten nowhere.”

After asking what would happen if the budget were defeated, Kasper said, “With a heavy heart, I vote yes.”

While O’Donnell did not comment on her vote, the budget process was the subject of a Letter to the Editor she wrote. O’Donnell argued the process needed to be more open.

McDonnell responded with her own letter, calling the budget a fiscally responsible one and one that was subject to extensive review.

O’Donnell and Freund did not seek re-election and will be exiting the board at the close of the year.

Overall, appropriations for 2010 would increase just more than $254,000, for total town spending of just under $12.9 million, which includes $3.8 million in highway spending.

Homeowners are to see a rate of just more than $2.25 per $1,000 of assessed value for 2010. Businesses are to see a rate of $4.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Those numbers compare to $2.19 and $3.90 for homeowners and businesses in the 2009 spending plan.

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