Germantown Budget Workshop Meeting 6PM on October 4, 2012
This meeting was a Workshop to begin the whole process to develop the budget for 2013 that will be presented at a Public Hearing to be held later.
At this meeting the Department Heads and the Committee representatives were to present their requests based on their expectations of what they would need for the next year. If not exactly what they need, what they would like to have. These combined requests are plugged into the NY State mandated format and given tot he Board members. There were brief exchanges of questions and information between the Department heads and the Board, with the explanations of the rational behind the requests.
I took 6 pages of notes but have decided not to write it all out in this portion of the budget process because much may change before the final recommendation is made. First, having heard the discussion by the Board members, Roy Brown will go over the whole submission and make the changes he feels will be the best for each Department in order to reduce the increase in the tax rate that would be required. That document will be put before the Board at the next meeting for them to consider and discuss, setting priorities and reaching some consensus about their final recommendation. The presentation this evening would raise the tax rate by 12.5%, but it is a figure that will be lowered considerably by the time all deliberations are held. (Their goal is as close to zero as they can make it.)
What was put before the Board at this meeting called for very small adjustments and, in come cases, no increase, and some additional funding for requests for increased salaries. The Maintenance Department and the Highway Department had some changes in staffing they wanted, which would also pose an increase; the Highway Department has also requested—not within the budget but as a separate financing decision—a new tractor to replace the 1985 Ford they are currently using. Because of its age they are now having difficulty finding parts for it and this increases the amount of time down when something goes awry. There is an option for a 5-year lease-to-buy with a final payment of $1.00, or it could be bonded. This is a clear decision for the Board to make, outside the budget, but still a cost to the Town. The salaried Employees would like a 2.5% raise.
The Maintenance Department has requested an additional part-time summer employee to be funded, because of expanded duties, especially the extra work around the Lake maintenance and Dog Control (only dogs; other animals come under the County Animal Control) which has grown in costs lately. Would like a 3% raise in salaries.
The Sewer Dept, Justice Dept, Clerk’s office, have set no changes; the Tax Department needs $300.00 more; the Police Department would like a 5% raise.
The Economic Development committee has asked for additional funding for some of the improvements they are requesting and have requested funds that will be somewhat trimmed, from the response I saw from the Board members.
At the next meeting I will have a copy of the Supervisor’s modified budget so I can follow along better. I will use my more detailed notes from this meeting to follow critical issues and report them after the meeting on Tuesday Oct. 16th at 6 PM