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What you need to know for 09/26/2017

Proposed Glenville budget includes 3.4% tax increase

Proposed Glenville budget includes 3.4% tax increase

Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle is proposing a $18.5 million budget with a 3.4 percent tax levy i

Glenville Supervisor Chris Koetzle is proposing a $18.5 million budget with a 3.4 percent tax levy increase, which is about $68,000 below the state cap.

The appropriations include $3.6 million for general operations, $3.4 million for the Highway Department and $4.8 million for town operations outside the village. The rest of the budget is made up of special use funds, including water, sewer, fire and lighting districts.

If ultimately adopted by the Town Board, the average Glenville resident with a home assessed at $173,000 would see their taxes increase by $20 to $591. Scotia residents with an average home assessed at $130,000 would see their taxes increase by $2 to $109.

“It’s a solid budget. I’m feeling very positive about the direction we’re going in,” Koetzle said.

Koetzle is proposing to tap $650,000 from the surplus compared with $1.4 million four years ago.

“We’ve cut our dependency on fund balance more than half in the last three years,” he said.

View budget

The Capital Region Scene has the proposed budget and it can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Among the major cost increases were health insurance and retirements costs. Health insurance is going up 10 percent to add another $180,000 in costs, and pension costs are up 15 percent for another $300,000.

As promised, Koetzle did not include raises in the budget. Contracts with all three of the town’s bargaining units — police, highway and CSEA — are up at the end of the year. He said the town cannot afford races in this fiscal climate.

Department heads had submitted budget requests that could have brought the increase to more than 12 percent. However, Koetzle said he eliminated some big-ticket items and did some “trimming around the edges.”

The Public Works Department had asked to buy two trucks and Koetzle is cutting that back to one for the Water Department. Three cruisers requested by the police chief were reduced to just one. Koetzle said he is also reducing overtime across the board.

“Just like we did in previous years, we spread it out evenly, so the impact on any one department is mitigated,” he said.

He also trimmed some contingency accounts and budgeted more conservatively for health care costs and salt expenses. He hopes that the region doesn’t see a lot of snow.

“I’m a little nervous when I read about these reports that we’re going to have a bad winter,” he said.

Koetzle said he did not cut any funding for community organizations, unlike last year.

The tax cap is based on a variety of factors, including growth in the tax base, and the town can exclude certain increases in pension costs and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements from the calculation. Glenville’s tax cap could have been as high as 4.7 percent, according to Koetzle.

Because Glenville’s levy increase last year was below the tax cap, the town also had some $42,000 that it was able to carry over and apply to this year’s cap.

The Town Board will likely discuss Koetzle’s tentative budget at its meeting on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

A public hearing will be held on Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. The budget must be adopted by mid-November.

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