In Knox’s first town board meeting physically open to the public since the coronavirus settled in March, Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis assured residents that the town is in strong financial standing despite projected sales-tax loss, which he credits to the town’s robust cash balance.

For 2020-21, the Voorheesville Public Library is proposing a $1.35 million budget, an increase of nearly 7 percent from this year.

“We have been challenged to not only reinvent what we do for an online platform, but innovate at the same time,” said Timothy Wiles, director of the Guilderland Public Library. The library is proposing a $4 million budget, drafted before the coronavirus shutdown. Residents of the Guilderland Central School district will vote through mail-in ballots that must be returned by June 9.

Westerlo Supervisor William Bichteman laid out a worst-case-scenario fiscal plan Tuesday that would see the 2021 tax levy increase anywhere from 10- to 15-percent. Bichteman stressed that the scenario was projected using “best-guess” budgeting based on a lack of information regarding sales-tax revenue from higher levels of government and that the probabilities are almost entirely unknown, but that he wants to start having the conversation before it’s too late.

“I think it’s the unpredictability that is the challenge here, trying to plan for something that we don’t really know what it’s going to look like or what our needs are going to be,” said Guilderland schools Superintendent Marie Wiles, discussing next year’s budget. “I do think we’re going to need more resources, not less as we open the school year.”

The Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education voted this week, 5 to 0, to accept Superintendent Timothy Mundell’s proposed $23.4 million budget. 

GUILDERLAND — In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promised permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

The Voorheesville School Board approved a $26 million spending plan for the 2020-21 school year, which comes with a 3.14-percent levy increase — if voters approve it. 

“The irony is mindblowing. The taxpayers are losing out because of the state’s own computer problems … The state has denied the town funds as a result of the state’s own glitch. It was their fault,” says Andrew Farbstein, a consultant who helped Guilderland with its townwide revaluation last year.

“We’re  going to go through a time where we’re going to be seriously economically hurt, disadvantaged, and we need to continue to provide the services …,” said Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.


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