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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 7, 2011

V’ville plans $2M budget with 3% raises for workers

By Jo E. Prout

VOORHEESVILLE — Village taxes may continue to rise if the board adopts its tentative $2 million budget this month. The proposed increase could raise the tax rate five cents to $1.15 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Last year’s budget was $1,975,195, and taxes were raised for the first time in years to meet it. The same nickel increase is proposed, again, this year. The proposed budget of $2, 007,658 will be discussed at a public hearing next Wednesday, April 13, at 6 p.m. at Village Hall.

“I think it’s a great budget,” Trustee David Cardona, the village’s budget officer, told The Enterprise. “It’s fiscally responsible. It allows us to continue providing the services people expect.”

At a March workshop, the board said it would raise taxes to help the village face upcoming expenses.

“It’s just prudent,” said Trustee John Stevens.

Clerk-Treasurer Linda Pasquali said that the portion the village owes to the state retirement system rose $20,000. She told The Enterprise this week that health insurance fees went up this year, also.

In March, Mayor Robert Conway said that expenses rose over several years, while “revenues were bumping along” with little to no tax increase. He agreed that the village should consider raising taxes, again.

“It’s something to think about,” Conway said.

Roughly $800,000 in county sales tax revenue is used by the village to balance its books each year, but the revenues have slumped in the past few years.

Albany County distributes sales tax based on municipalities’ populations. The 2010 census shows that Voorheesville gained 84 residents since 2000, up to 2,789. (See related story.)

Pasquali told The Enterprise that tax appropriations are raised for the general fund, which only went up by $6,400, accounting for the $0.05 per $1,000 tax increase. The water, general sewer, and smaller sewer District 2 rates account for the rest of the budget increase.

The proposed budget includes 3-percent raises for employees. Last year, employees received a 2-percent raise. The mayor will receive a $13,719 salary, up $400 from last year, if the new budget is approved. Each of the four trustees will receive about $6,000 per year, up $200.

Village employees hope to upgrade their computers this year. Cardona told The Enterprise that the budget includes a building reserve fund, and a vehicle reserve fund. The board recently discussed purchasing snow-blowing equipment for sidewalks, and replacement of the slate roof on Village Hall.

The contract renewal for garbage collection, due this week, could affect the final budget, Cardona said.

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