Glenville set to approve budget with 3.5% tax hike
GLENVILLE The Glenville Town Board is poised to adopt an $18.5 million 2013 budget with a 3.55 percent increase in the tax levy.
Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the board will officially vote on the spending plan at a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, but he doesn’t expect any changes.
Town residents with a home assessed at the average value of $173,000 would see their town property taxes increase by $21, to $592. Scotia residents with a home assessed at the average value of $130,000 would see their taxes increase by nearly $3, to $110.
Only one person spoke Wednesday night during a public hearing. Former town Supervisor Frank Quinn said that for the last several years the town has overestimated total expenses in the general, highway and town outside the village funds by an average of $600,000 and underestimated revenues by $566,000. He said the town could get to having no tax increase by cutting back on the appropriations in one of the funds — for employee benefits.
“The proposed town tax increase is more than my income goes up this year,” he said.
Supervisor Chris Koetzle said the fact that the town spent less than anticipated shows the town is budgeting conservatively.
“You budget perhaps thinking the worst-case scenario, hoping for the best,” he said.
Also, Koetzle said he does not want to dip into the town’s surplus. A few years ago, the town appropriated $1.4 million of its fund balance. This year, it is going to use only $650,000. He said someday the town may be in a situation where its expenses are higher than anticipated or there is a revenue shortfall and the town will need to rely on that surplus.
Increases in pension costs and health care are adding about $1 million to the budget, according to town officials.
In other business, the Town Board voted Wednesday to hire Vicki Hillis of Glenville as the new senior center coordinator at a rate of $16.45 per hour for the 20-hour-a-week position.
Hillis replaces Cindy Amell, who left in September when she and her husband were moving to South Glens Falls.
The town heard from more than 50 applicants for the position; they were narrowed to eight and then three finalists.
Councilman Sid Ramotar said Hillis stood out because of her excellent social skills and her experience as an assistant administrator in a senior center.
Hillis worked at the Delaware County Countryside Care Center in Delhi from 1995 to 1998 before taking time off to raise a family, according to Glenville Director of Operations James MacFarland.