Town of Webb Supervisor Ted Riehle gave an overview of the town’s Preliminary Budget for 2015, at a public hearing held on Tuesday, October 28 in Old Forge.
“The Board spent a lot of time with department heads on this budget… a lot of time and effort went into this. But I’m happy to report that we are going to be operating within the tax cap [in 2015],” Riehle said.
General Fund Revenues—excluding property tax—are expected to be $2,292,150 in 2015, down by $5,775 from 2014.
Allocations will be $6,389,931, up $131,895 from 2014.
General Fund Balance applied to offset taxes will be $1,200,000, an increase of $50,000 from 2014.
General Fund amount to be raised by taxes will be $2,897,781, an increase of $87,670.
Supervisor Riehle highlighted a list of items that had notable effect on the budget, as compared to last year.
Among them was a new line item for Invasive Species Control, which will be funded in the amount of $4,400.
“There had been a lot of talk about invasive species. And these are for land-based invasive species—Japanese knotweed being one of them,” Riehle said.
“There’s an awful lot of spots in the Town of Webb, where it’s become a problem. It’s traveling down ditches—taking over yards.”
It’s creeping up the old railroad bed at the new Eagle Bay Welcome Center, according to Riehle.
“Inlet has had a program for a number of years. There’s a gentleman up in Inlet who’s a certified applicator. They’ve done a good job at eliminating a lot of those problems,” he said.
Additionally, funding for the Assessor will be down $12,987. The Assessor required greater funding in 2014 for a vehicle purchase.
Funds for the Town Attorney will be $50,000 higher. That is due primarily to the deferring of police evaluation costs to 2015, Riehle said.
Records Management will increase $9,500. “That was to provide an update of our filing system. [Town Clerk] Nanci Russell put a lot of work into researching improvements to the filing. We’re looking at rotary files and labor and supplies to do that,” Riehle said.
“In Public Works, we budgeted another $13,000 to add to our existing reserves for a new pickup truck with a plow.”
“Town Buildings” had an increase of $30,872.
“We have to finance the remainder of the roof project for the Park Ave. Offices,” Riehle said.
“And the board has talked in the past about purchasing the adjacent lot, or part of a lot, behind Park Ave. Office Building for parking.
“Currently we don’t own anything, we’re using the parking at the church. We only a have few spaces around the back door area. So we did budget $30,000 to purchase that lot.”
The Police budget item was increased by $40,421, Riehle said.
The town is looking to replace the department’s K-9 vehicle in keeping with a regular rotation, he said.
“We also have computers to replace. And we do have some potential new officers coming on board; there is equipment associated with that.”
“Professional Offices” will see an increase of $2,000.
“The only expense there is for utilities,” Riehle said.
“Associated with the Highway, is an increase of $9,500. That is primarily to upgrade the fuel system. We need new software and equipment to operate that,” he said.
“Publicity” will increase by $8,405. “We’re looking at upgrading the software for permit sales for snowmobiling; and there’s some computer stations associated with that.”
“North Street Park” will increase by $8,560 for a lighting upgrade.
“We’re going to extend some lighting on the far end of the field. We’ve got some poles that will be going up [before winter]. We already purchased those, but the additional is for wiring and fixtures,” Riehle said.
McCauley will have an increase of $27,770.
“This had to do with the snowmaking upgrade, part of the energy efficiency program we’re working on with National Grid,” Riehle said.
“And we upgraded the equipment reserve.
“We also budgeted for a new work-sled and groomer for the cross-country trails,” he said.
The Snowmobile line item will increase by $56,074. This will help budget for a new Snowmobile Trail groomer.
Landfill had a budget decrease of $7,576.
“Even with that decrease, we did set aside another $12,000 into the reserve for a new trailer,” Riehle said.
“We’re looking at replacing [the current one] in 2016 with an additional $12,000,” he said.
“Refuse/Garbage” will increase by $70,037.
“We need to start looking into a new garbage truck, so we’re putting $75,000 into reserve toward that cost,” Riehle said.
Employee Retirement System costs will be $20,704 less in 2015.
Police Retirement will got down by $23,795.
Workers Comp Insurance costs will increase by $16,400.
The Town’s share of Medical Insurance/Health Care will decrease by $5,000.
In the Old Forge/Thendara Water District, the amount to be raised by taxes will go down by $5,542.
In the Old Forge Sewer District, the amount to be raised by taxes will go up $12, to $103,783.
The Stillwater Fire District taxes will be unchanged in 2015.
The amount to be raised by taxes for Town of Webb Fire District Number One will be $131,789.
Based on these budget numbers, tax rates will be $2.03 per thousand dollars of assessed value; an increase of 5¢.
The Water District tax rate will be 42¢ per thousand; a 3¢ decrease.
The Sewer District tax rate will be 78¢ per thousand; no change from last year.
The Old Forge Fire District tax rate will be 31¢ per thousand; an 11¢ increase.
The Stillwater Fire District tax rate will be 25¢ per thousand; no change.
The Sewer Use Fee for the district will be $228.44, a $3.99 increase.
The Town of Webb Board agreed to make a modification to the Preliminary Budget that would allow payment on the McCauley Mountain snowmaking project upfront, as required by National Grid, which is providing a $52,855 incentive and acting as contractor.
National Grid will reimburse the Town of Webb at a later date, according to Supervisor Ted Riehle.