Voorheesville budget for 2021-22 up about 5.4%, taxes steady

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Salem Hills — the development’s wastewater treatment plant is pictured here — has a proposed 2021-22 budget of about $295,500. Voorheesville’s sewer budget — which includes two districts: Salem Hills and Pleasant Street — is in better shape than the one in nearby Altamont. But Voorheesville’s system is aging and, in anticipation of future costs, the village anticipates raising its annual fee on sewer customers, likely by $40.

VOORHEESVILLE — Next’s year’s proposed $2.44 million village budget is up about 5.4 percent over this year’s adopted spending plan.

A public hearing on the budget proposal is set for Wednesday, April 14, at 6 p.m., with adoption anticipated April 27, the date of the next board of trustees’ meeting — residents interested in participating in the hearing are to call village hall for Zoom link information.

A public hearing on the budget proposal was held Wednesday; adoption is anticipated at the next board of trustees’ meeting, April 27.

The proposed tax rate for village property owners will increase about a half-penny, from $1.2866 per $1,000 of assessed value this year to $1.29151 per $1,000 next year.

The property tax levy is set to increase by about 1.31 percent, from approximately $304,500 to $308,500, which is under the state-set limit. Last year, the village had no increase in its levy rate.

 The proposed 2021-22 budget makes some rosy revenue projections coming out of the pandemic, with $900,000 anticipated in county sales-tax dollars. Last year, the village cut its estimated share of county sales-tax revenue by $200,000, expecting to take in $750,000, down from the previous year’s estimate of $950,000. 

In 2020, Voorheesville ended up receiving nearly $972,000 in sales-tax revenues from Albany County. 

Next year’s budget currently includes one-time costs for upgrades for:

— The basketball court at Nichols Park, $31,000;

— Air packs for the fire department, $23,000 (which may become a semi-regular recurring increase as the department upgrades three air packs each year); an

— A new truck, for $50,000, the cost of which is spread across the three funds: general, water, and sewer. 

With the specter of the pandemic looming, trustees in April 2020 agreed that village workers would forgo raises this year. Next year, to make up for this year, the four full-time highway-department employees are scheduled to receive 4-percent pay bumps; and the building inspector, after not receiving two previously promised raises, is due to make $42,500, up from $32,500.

The three employees in the village clerk’s office won’t see a salary increase. Additionally, village Clerk Linda Pasquali makes the move from full-time to part-time. 

The entire village has an assessed value of $261,241,700 of which $238,902,647 is taxable — both numbers are increases from this year, $259,635,662 and $236,714,675, respectively. 


Expenditures and revenues

The appropriations in the proposed general-fund budget for 2021-22 total about $1.57 million. Among the village’s largest expenditures are:

— About $509,000 for highways and streets, which includes road maintenance, sidewalks, snow removal, and street lighting;

— About $268,000 for general government support, including among other items, the salaries of trustees, village hall staff, and the village’s attorney;

— $212,000 for public safety, which includes fire protection (as well as line-item costs associated retirement and insurance) and the village’s contract with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office for ambulance services; 

— $182,700 in benefits, including employee retirement payments, Social Security payments, workers’ compensation for village employees, and medical insurance; and

— $172,500 for refuse and garbage;

Among the village’s largest expected revenues are:

— $900,000 in sales tax;

— About $308,500 from property taxes;

— About $102,000 in state aid, in the form of highway funds and mortgage tax;

— $93,000 in utilities and franchise fees; 

— About $55,000 from property rentals; and

About $102,000 of fund balance is to be used to close the general fund’s deficit.


Water and sewer

Voorheesville’s proposed water budget for next year totals about $566,700.

The village expects metered sales to cover the entire 2021-22 water budget.

This year’s budget included a $10 increase in the minimum water rate, making it $210 for the first 20,000 gallons of water in addition to a $20 per water meter upgrade fee.

In 2017, the village increased the annual minimum for water from $150 to $200, while also reducing the minimum number of gallons a customer receives from 25,000 to 20,000; the combined actions were a move to fund future repairs.

Voorheesville’s sewer budget for next year is anticipated to be about $303,000, with rents covering about $265,000 and fund balance filling the remaining $38,000 gap.

The village has two sewer districts.

The first sewer district — Salem Hills — has a proposed 2021-22 budget of about $295,500. With expected sewer rents of about $258,000, the village expects to appropriate approximately $38,000 of fund balance to cover the shortfall.

In the second sewer district — along Pleasant Street — revenues are expected to cover appropriations, at about $7,500 each.

Salem Hills sewer customers pay an annual fee of $560, which can be paid quarterly. Pleasant Street single-family home sewer customers have an annual fee of $372, while the multi-family home fee is $600 per year.

The village anticipates raising its annual fee on sewer customers, likely by $40. 

The salaries of the village’s elected officials are set to be: $14,702 for the mayor and $6,432 for each trustee.

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