Altamont proposes $2.1M budget for next year

ALTAMONT — The proposed village budget for next year is nearly identical to this year’s — absent a brand-new fire truck.

The first draft of a proposed $2.1 million budget for next year is well below this year’s budget of $2.45 million, which reflects a modification of $278,590 to account for the purchase of a new truck for the fire department, which the board approved the purchase of in September 2017. The proposed budget was presented to Altamont Board of Trustees at its Thursday, Feb. 22, meeting

The proposed 2018-19 budget would be an increase of about $8,100 over this year, before the additional one-time cost of the new fire truck.

Catherine Hasbrouck, the village treasurer, told The Enterprise that for the calculation of the first draft, it was assumed villagers would pay property taxes of $2.73 per $1,000 of assessed valuation next year, the same as this year as well as last year. She stressed that it was a preliminary draft of the budget and that it will be worked on for the next two months until the board votes on whether or not to adopt it at its April meeting.

The proposed general fund total would be about $1.26 million, representing a 2.4-percent increase over this year.

The village is expecting to receive revenues of:

— $540,000 in sales tax, which is distributed by the county and based on population;

— $290,000 from property taxes;

— $132,554 from fire protection services;

— $48,500 in state aid;

— $38,000 in cable franchise fees;

— $29,000 from fines and forfeited bail; $20,000 from the utilities gross receipts tax; and

— $13,900 in income from village departments, like charges for parks and recreation activities.

About $137,000 would be appropriated from the general-fund’s fund balance to close the gap between what the village is paying for services and what revenue it is taking in. The village expects to use $125,000 from the fund balance to fix the veneer on the front of village hall, leaving a balance of about $235,000 in the general-fund’s fund balance.

The proposed water budget totals $383,780 of which $345,000 is covered by metered water sales, and is a 6-percent decrease from this year. The largest decreases in appropriations come from line items associated with the Altamont Reservoir.

In November 2017, the town of Knox and the village settled a decade-long argument over the value of the reservoir after Altamont filed a suit in state Supreme Court. The village and town agreed the reservoir should be assessed at two-thirds of the assessed value at the time, which was $1 million. That translates into a $15,000 decrease in taxes and assessments paid on property and an $8,000 decrease in attorney fees. About $9,000 of the water-fund’s fund balance would be used.

The sewer budget totals $536,907 of which $483,498 is covered by sewer rents, and is a 0.78-percent increase over this year. About $81,000 would be appropriated from the sewer-fund fund balance.

 
Corrected on Feb. 24, 2018: The original story said a supreme court judge made a ruling on the reservoir issue. It was actually a settlement.

 

Updated on Feb. 27, 2018: Information on t he fund balance was added.

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