Voorheesville proposes $2.3M budget for 2020-21 — a decrease

The Enterprise — Melissa Hale-Spencer

Voorheeville’s $747,000 sidewalk project — of which the village was responsible for $149,000 and the state paid $598,000 — was included in this year’s village budget. For 2020-21, the village is proposing a $2.3 million budget, which is a 12-percent decrease from this year.

VOORHEESVILLE — Anticipating a drop in sales-tax revenue due the COVID-19 outbreak, the village of Voorheesville is tightening its purse strings and proposing a $2.3 million budget for next year, a 12-percent drop over this year.

The proposed 2020-21 tax rate for village residents will remain unchanged from this year’s rate of $1.29 per $1,000 of assessed value. In addition, village residents also pay into New Scotland’s townwide general and highway funds at $1.48 per $1,000 of assessed value.

This year’s $2.6 million budget contained a couple of one-time costs not included in the village’s proposed budget for 2020-21 — a $160,000 allocation for finding a new village water source, and $149,000 for a sidewalk project. 

Voorheesville cut its sales-tax revenue projection for next year by about 20 percent compared to this year’s projection — it is now expecting to receive $750,000 from the county; this time last year, the village expected $950,000 in county sales-tax revenue. 

Voorheesville’s actual sales-tax haul from the county between June 2018 and May 2019 was $1 million.

Village workers won’t be getting a raise in 2020-21.

A public hearing on the budget took place on Wednesday.

The entire village has an assessed value of $259,635,662 of which $236,714,675 is taxable.

The appropriations in the proposed general budget total $1,469,816.

Some of the village’s largest expenditures include:

— $445,000 for highways and streets, which includes road maintenance, snow removal, and street lighting;

— $176,050 for refuse and garbage;

— $149,000 in benefits, which includes employee retirement payments; Social Security payments, and medical insurance; and

— $128,000 for public safety, which includes fire protection and the village’s contract with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office for ambulance services; 

Some of the village’s largest expected revenues include:

— $750,000 in sales tax;

— $304,500 from property taxes;

— $66,300 in franchise fees; and

— $67,000 in highway aid.

About $150,000 would be appropriated from fund balances.

The proposed 2020-21 budget includes a $10 increase in the water rate. 

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 proposed water budget for next year totals about $552,000.

The village expects metered sales to cover the entirety of next year’s water budget; it expects not to have to use any fund balances to cover a 2020-21 water budget gap. 

The village has two sewer districts.

The first district — the Salem Hills Sewer District — has a $288,000 proposed 2020-21 budget. With expected sewer rents of about $241,000, the village expects to use about $47,000 from the sewer fund balance.

In the second sewer district — along Pleasant Street — appropriations and revenues are expected to be equal — $7,440.

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