Voorheesville 2021-22 budget up 4.1%

Enterprise file photo — Michael Koff

Salem Hills — Voorheesville’s wastewater treatment plant, pictured here — is aging and, in anticipation of future costs, the village plans to raise its annual fee for sewer customers, likely by $40. There is an in-person public hearing scheduled for Thursday, May 13, at 6 p.m., at Village Hall.

VOORHEESVILLE — The board of trustees at its April meeting unanimously adopted a $2.41 million budget for next year that is up about $94,000 from this year’s spending plan.

Due to increases in expected sales-tax revenue in 2021-22 and a new very favorable waste-services contract, the village will not have to tap its rainy-day fund for much money to close its budget gap for next year. 

The 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.

At the April 14 public hearing on the budget, the village didn’t have the most recent quarterly sales-tax revenue numbers, Trustee Sarita Winchell said. It has since received the figures, which allowed the board to increase its projected 2021-22 revenue from the county. 

At the budget hearing, the village estimated getting $900,000 in sales-tax revenues next year, Winchell said during the April 27 board of trustees meeting. “And we’re confident that we can raise that to $950,000, which is a big plus.”

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

“We are dependent on sales tax,” Winchell said; it’s “basically 66 percent of our revenue.”

Coupled with a new garbage-removal contract, that means the money being taken out of the general-fund “rainy-day” account is about $23,000. (The village budget is broken into three funds: general, water, and sewer.)

“It’s a big drop,” Winchell said, “which means that we are kind of living within our means, basically.”

Voorheesville recently completed its request-for-proposal process for garbage services and the winner was Robert Wright Disposal at $74,400 per year. “Which is actually a pretty significant savings over our current arrangement,” said Richard Reilly, the village’s attorney. “They’ve also proposed to go back to paying for the recycling themselves ….”

Wright is the village’s current waste-services provider.

This year’s budgeted amount for contracted waste services was $107,900, but the village now projects it will end up spending $97,900.

Wright was bought by the third-largest waste-services company in North America in August of last year. Waste Connections, a Canadian-based conglomerate, owns and operates most of the area’s transfer stations and landfills. Last year, the company found itself in a price war with Twin Bridges Waste & Recycling, which has landed both haulers in court over their business practices

And Voorheesville is set to get back to normal soon with an upcoming in-person public hearing set for increases to sewer fees. The village anticipates raising its annual fee on customers, likely by $40. The in-person public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, May 13, at 6 p.m., at Village Hall.

More New Scotland News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.