K’hook adopts budget that lowers taxes by 2.5%

NIVERVILLE–The Town Board adopted a 2013 town budget this week that comes with a 2.5% tax levy decrease for residents who live in the town and a .8% decrease for people in the villages of Valatie and Kinderhook.

Supervisor Pat Grattan said at the Monday, November 19 regular meeting, that a few minor changes were made after the special budget meeting held November 14. Money was moved into the employee retirement and health benefit account lines to deal with state increases. Under the state law that caps property tax increases at 2% the town could have raised the levy by as much as $943,490, but Mr. Grattan said the board is raising $905,405, which is $38,085 below the limit set by the law.

“This is the third consecutive year the town has had a tax reduction,” Mr. Grattan said, but added that in the future, as costs rise for the municipality, cuts will be harder to find. “It’s going to require more creative thinking and more caution with spending,” he said.

Mr. Grattan said that the board was able to decrease taxes because of cuts and careful use of the fund balance, though he stressed that retirement and health benefits have increased though the assessed value of properties in the town has decreased.

The total appropriations for the General Fund of the 2013 budget are $929,488, with an estimated revenues of $466,673. The amount to be raised by taxes is $386,815.The total appropriations for the General Fund outside of the villages is $130,055, with estimated revenues of $52,804. The amount to be raised by taxes is $54,251.

There is also the Highway Fund, with $1.4 million in spending for 2013 and revenues of $1 million. The amounted to raised by taxes for that fund is $327,448. The overall budget includes ambulance, fire district and library tax lines as well.

Also at the meeting the board:

Approved buying a new loader for $148,197 with an extended warranty costing $2,920. “This is the workhorse for the department,” Mr. Grattan said of the machine. Also approved was the sale of some older Highway Department equipment, including a 2004 Ford 4×4 and the John Deere that the new loader will replace

Heard Alex Schneider, Director of Development and Community Services for Coarc, notify the board that his organization, a nonprofit agency that provides programs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities, hopes to purchase a house on Fordham Road to be used as a home for five individuals. The board can approve the request at the next meeting if there are no objections. If the board does not respond in 40 days, Coarc can move ahead with its plans. Planning Board Chairman Robert Cramer asked that Mr. Schneider send a letter to the Planning Board with a site plan of the building. Mr. Schneider told the board Coarc currently does not have a residence in the town though there are other group homes in the area.

Decided to seek new bids for compost grinding. The board accepted bids at the last meeting but has decided to look again for companies to the grind the yard waste now that the town has completed collection of the leaves and other compostable matter from homes.

Heard that the County has rescheduled its Flu Clinic for November 28 from 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the town hall in Niverville.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

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