Back from austerity, Guilderland adopts $38.3M budget

— Enterprise file photo

Guilderland Supervisor Peter Barber said the aim of the town’s 2022 budget was to “be realistic.”

GUILDERLAND — In a unanimous vote Thursday evening, the town board here adopted  a $38,325,630 budget for next year.

Supervisor Peter Barber, during a virtual public hearing where no one from the public called in, said the budget was “very conservative I think in many ways.”

He said the aim was to “be realistic” and praised the town’s fiscal officer, Jessica Olszowy, for doing a historic review. “We actually had real numbers,” said Barber.

Spending is up nearly 7 percent from this year’s $36 million budget, which was described last year as austere, drafted in the midst of the pandemic. The 2021 budget had reduced appropriations by about $800,000. largely by forgoing capital expenditures like vehicle purchases.

The town’s general tax rate for 2022 will be about 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 0.2 percent over the current rate. The overall tax levy, which includes water and sewer districts and the highway budget, is up about 1.9 percent to $12.2 million, which stays below the state-set levy limit.

The largest share of revenues come from sales tax, estimated at $13.4 million next year, an increase of 12.6 percent, or $1.5 million, over this year.

Sales-tax revenues in Albany County, and in New York State as a whole, have rebounded beyond pre-pandemic levels, according to the state’s comptroller.

From January through September of 2020, Albany County took in $193.7 million in sales-tax revenues. This year, during those same nine months, the county collected $234 million — an increase of 20.8 percent.

The 2022 Guilderland budget shows revenue is up nearly 30 percent from the town’s emergency medical services to $2.4 million. State aid for roads is up 59 percent from $220,000 this year to $350,000 next year. And mortgage-tax revenue is up a whopping 175 percent from $400,000 this year to $1.1 million next year. 

The budget reduces court fines by about 29 percent, from $700,000 to $500,000.

Next year’s budget has no new borrowing, no draw from reserves, and adds money to reserves for capital improvements.

At the same time, the budget restores funding for staffing, for vehicle replacement, for technology upgrade, and for public improvements.

The 2022 budget includes the town’s share of funding for new sidewalks on Western Avenue to the Guilderland Public Library, on West Old State Road to Lynnwood Elementary School, and on Carman Road to Pine Bush Elementary School.

It also invests in new equipment for hiking-trail maintenance and fire training, and in new software and hardware for virtual broadcasts.

The budget will pay for new vehicles for the building inspector, the police-dog unit, the police, and for animal control. It also funds an additional building-fire inspector post, traffic-control officer, and seasonal staff for the town’s recreational programs.

Further, the budget advances funds for renovating the Guilderland Performing Arts Center at Tawasentha Park, and improvements at Abele Park, painting the historic Mynderse-Frederick House, and improving the farmers’ market platform at the Altamont Free Library.

And the budget will provide for purchasing National Grid’s lights and converting them to energy-efficient light-emitting diodes.



Next year’s budget increases salaries by 2.5 percent for both union and non-union employees.

The budgeted annual salaries for the full-time town officers are: $126,715 for town supervisor, $107,580 for highway superintendent, and $79,625 for town clerk.

For part-time posts, the annual salaries in 2022 are: $57,330 for town justices and $27,110 for town board members.

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