My notes on the Public Hearing for the Town’s 2013 Budget:
The Public Hearing was called to order at 6PM with the full Board present as well as the Town Clerk, Charlene Diehl. The budget as proposed is (nearly) identical to the one arrived at in the last workshop. The final page—the one that reveals the final numbers and the tax rate proposed, is exactly the same and results in an increase of $0.02 per thousand dollars of assessed property value. This turns out to be a %1 percent increase in the tax rate, and under the CAP imposed by the State of New York. The only members of the public attending the hearing were Debby Mayer, reporter from the Columbia Paper, David Gifford, Arthur Schiff and Ginny Sibbison and me.
Roy advised the Board and the public that he had provided the Board with the information that Don and Joel had asked for about the fund balances reserved or used over the past 5 years
He said he has prepared a letter for the Public to be available at the next Town Board meeting, November 19th, which will be a summary of the basic features of the budget and any changes contained in it. It will include information about the Fire Department’s budget, adopted on the 12th and other obligations of the Town, such as the Library funding and the cost of the ambulance service. The Board expects to adopt the Budget at that meeting.
Kay Abraham asked if the Town Board had received responses to the RFPs that were due to be opened on November 9th. He answered that they had received answers (2 each) for Attorney, Town Engineer, and Lake Management, but had none for the request for Accountant/Bookkeeper. He will reach out to a few accounting companies for some response to the Town’s requests.. Roy said that there were no figures presented that would make any change in the budgeted line items for these services.
Kay thanked The Board for providing the Budget Summary for the public.
Arthur Schiff asked about the Board’s conclusion that there would probably be no net savings by doing away with the Police Department, since he (Arthur) had different results when he had done a survey of near-by towns a few years ago. He asked to see Roy’s figures and Roy will supply them to him. Arthur asked if there was any anticipated fiscal threat facing the town in the near future. Only the ongoing expenses for the Sewer repair and the completion of the sidewalk, but they have been anticipated and can be dealt with.
Arthur thanked the Board for a good job done.
With no other comments from the public, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 PM.