Voorheesville proposes $3.25M budget for next year

Voorheesville Mayor Robert Conway

The Enterprise — Sean Mulkerrin

Voorheesville Mayor Robert Conway listens during the village’s re-organizational meeting as trustees discuss the proposed $3.25 million budget for 2018-19. In the foreground is Linda Pasquali, the village clerk. During the meeting, Conway was sworn in for another term as mayor.

VOORHEESVILLE — At a public hearing after its annual re-organizational meeting on Monday, April 2, the village board discussed a proposed $3.25 million budget for next year.

The proposal is increased 29-percent from this year’s budget, which is due largely to a sidewalk capital project that will cost $747,000, of which the village is paying $149,000 and the state is paying $598,000.

Without the state grant for $598,000, the proposed 2018-19 budget is an increase of $186,450 over this year; a 7-percent increase. Included in that increase is the village’s one-time cost of the sidewalk project — $149,000 — as well as an additional $20,000 for sidewalk work that the village will do itself.

New sidewalks will begin at the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail and run east toward the village line; on Maple Avenue, old curbing will be replaced with new, and curbing will be added where currently there isn’t any; and, new sidewalks will be installed on Altamont Road from School Road to the village line.

Absent the sidewalk projects, Voorheesville’s proposed 2018-19 budget is the same as this year. The proposed tax rate for village residents is also the same as this year, $1.26 per $1,000 of assessed value. In addition, village residents also pay into New Scotland’s townwide general and highway funds at $1.40 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The appropriations in the proposed general budget total about $1.7 million; the village is expecting about $1.44 million in revenues from these sources:

— $925,000 in sales tax, which is distributed by the county and based on population;

— $294,000 from property taxes;

— $67,000 in highway aid;

— $62,000 in franchise fees;

— $44,000 from property rentals;

— $30,000 from mortgage taxes; and

— $17,700 in state aid.

About $212,000 — which includes $149,000 for sidewalks — 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. This would leave a balance of about $855,000 in the general-fund’s fund balance.

The proposed water budget totals $445,349; the village estimates it will receive $523,210 in revenues. The surplus is due to an increase — from $150 to $200 — in the minimum amount that customers have to pay annually for water and an increase in revenue from reducing the minimum number of gallons a customer receives, from 25,000 to 20,000. The village increased rates so that funds could be saved for repairs. There is about $763,000 in the water-fund’s fund balance, which will decrease by $115,000 at the end of the month as the village pays off a bond.

The village has two sewer districts.  

The first district’s budget is about $347,000; with an estimated $237,000 in revenue, the village expects to use about $110,000 of the available $450,000 in the fund balance to close the gap.

In the second sewer district, appropriations and revenues are expected to be equal — $7,404. The district has a fund balance of about $19,000.

Some of the village’s largest expenditures include:

— $471,000 for highways and streets, which includes road maintenance, snow removal, and street lighting;

— $233,000 in employee benefits, including: employee retirement payments; the Length of Service Award Program, similar to pension benefits for firefighters; Social Security payments; workers’ compensation for village employees and the fire department; and medical insurance;

— $161,000 for the fire department and rescue squad, which is now run by the Albany County Sheriff’s Office rather than being staffed by volunteers; and

— $145,750 for refuse and garbage.

The trustees anticipate voting on a final budget on April 24.

Also at the re-organizational meeting, Linda Pasquali, the village clerk, swore in four village board members who were uncontested in the March elections: Mayor Robert Conway, and trustees Richard Berger, Jack Stevens, and Sarita Winchell.

Conway, Berger, and Stevens were re-elected to four-year terms, and Winchell — who was appointed to fill Florence Reddy’s seat after she stepped down in September 2017 — was elected to fill out the remainder of Reddy’s term, which is up next year. Trustee Richard Straut will also be up for re-election in 2019.

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