Town of Webb board adopts final 2013 operating budget

The Town of Webb Board held a public hearing on Tuesday, November 6, to discuss the Preliminary Budget for 2013 in the Town of Webb.

Following the hearing, the board voted unanimously to adopt the document as the Town’s Final Budget for 2013.

The total revenue for 2012 is projected to be $5,582,906, an increase of $218,323 over last year’s budget.

The General Fund allocation for 2013 is $7,928,622. That amount is up from $6,682,906 in 2012 for an increase of $1,245,716.

Offsetting those allocations are estimated revenues of $3,904,005. Those revenues are up from $2,870,859 in 2012. Also offsetting is $1,310,500 in unexpended balance from 2012, which is being applied.

That amount is being increased by $210,500 from 2012.

That makes the General Fund amount to be raised by taxes $2,714,117 in 2013.

Total Highway Allocations are $915,452 before applying estimated revenues of $225,700 and unexpended balance of $80,000.

That makes the Highway amount raised by taxes $607,752.

The total amount to be raised by taxes is $3,323,869 for both General and Highway.

Councilwoman Mary Brophy- Moore pointed out that savings resulting from St. Elizabeth’s taking over operation of the health center are being offset by costs relating to the rebuilding of Lock & Dam.

Effectively, the health center

savings allowed the Lock & Dam project to be done without bonding,

making the job less expensive.

“[Lock & Dam] was a long time coming, and it will be good to get that project done,” said Supervisor Ted Riehle. Allocated funds for TOBIE have increased in 2013, too.

“Both phases of TOBIE will be under construction in the coming year… the Eagle Bay welcome center, and the trail and bridge portion in Thendara,” Riehle said. McCauley will be seeing additional funds of $57,718.

“The board decided we needed to do some energy improvement… which included the windows and doors in the chalet—a lot of those are still single pane,” Riehle said.

As far as the budget for the Old Forge/Thendara Water District, allocations went up $27,430.

“That was primarily due to the new generator for the chlorinator plant,” Riehle said.

But revenues will be going up an estimated $19,450 as well, due to a water rent increase.

“We’ve been at $3 per thousand for quite a few years,” Riehle said.

“The town has used fund balance to install new meters within the district. We’re looking at rehabilitation of the existing water tank and construction of an auxiliary tank to use for operation while that’s being done. I don’t think it’s realistic to hold water rents at the same rate,” he said.

Riehle added that the new rates are very much in line with other municipal water districts.

Revenues are also expected to increase by $14,000 in the  Zoning department, due to an increase in permit fees, where the square footage cost is being raised from 15 cents to 25 cents.

The Town of Webb’s taxable property value has increased by $264,190,622 following this year’s townwide revaluation.

“In 2012 the taxable value in the town was $1,469,349,038. This year with the reval, taxable value is $1,733,539,660 [according to county figures],” Riehle said.

Following the board’s presentation of the budget, Bob McCoy asked for explanations and offered suggestions on behalf of Webb Property Owners Association. Others with questions were Town of Webb TaxCollector Kelly Hunkins and former Town of Webb Supervisor George Hiltebrant.

Councilman J.B. Herron spoke to some of the challenges towns in New York State face in assembling budgets.

Herron said that although the amount of unexpended balance in  the budget has not been trending down in recent years, things are poised to change in light of the two percent budget cap. George Hiltebrant agrees.

“The time is going to come when you are going to have to use more of that unexpended balance just to stay even or a little bit of an increase. And pretty soon that will be gone. And I bet it will be gone in the next six to eight years,” he said.

“You need some room in a budget,” Herron said. “I think to keep it at a zero gain constantly is not realistic when the cost of everything is going up.”

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