From an audience of about one dozen people, some stood up to speak about the budget proposed by supervisor Ed Romaine last month.
As previously reported in the Advance, surpluses were earned in the general fund and the highway fund, due to either a more-than-expected intake of revenue or conservative original estimates. Reserve levels were also increased for capital assets, open space, debt service, snow removal, retirement, and post closure landfill accounts. The reserves are like savings accounts, set aside for specific events in which the town will eventually need additional funds. Romaine said this budget would end deficit spending, as it is the first budget in a decade not to use any money from the fund balance to even out the budget.
The biggest spending increase is from employee compensation and benefits. It represents 45 percent of the town’s total spending, about the same for the 2018 budget. The budget maintains all current staffing levels and constituent services. The $302 million budget sees $175 million in income from taxes and $124 million in nontax revenues, an increasing number, according to Romaine.
For the capital budget, new projects, including roads, drainage, traffic safety, facilities and more, account for $20.8 million, out of a total $58.5 million. The landfill infrastructure improvements will cost $27 million out of that total. Smaller projects, which account for the rest, include open-space initiatives, town facilities and vehicles, and technology improvements.
The town board will look to vote on the budget at the next town board meeting on Nov. 20.