Ghent budgets lowers taxes by 1% in 2013

GHENT–The Town Board adopted a 2013 town budget that will bring a tax decrease of 1%. The board voted on the budget at last week’s meeting, after making changes to the preliminary budget to add $36,000 for a generator at the town hall.

“I think it’s an excellent job,” board member Larry Van Brunt told town Supervisor Larry Andrews.

The amount to be raised by taxes will be $509,610, including $227,410 for the General Fund and $282,200 for the Highway Fund. This is a $5,340 decrease from last year. Mr. Andrews said the use of the fund balance was helpful in keeping the budget low this year.

Total appropriations amount to $2,002,743, including $787,690 of the general fund and $1,215,053 of the highway fund.

Mr. Andrews said that the biggest increase in this year’s budget was due to rising retirement costs.

The town estimates revenues totaling $1,073,500, including $362,800 in the general fund and $710,700 in the highway fund. The unexpended fund balance used to keep the budget low this year amounts to $419,633 ($197,480 general fund and $222,153 highway).

Also at the November 15 board meeting:

*Heard Town Attorney Ted Guterman gave an update on where things stand with new Price Chopper project regarding the possibility of establishing a water and sewer district. The Schuyler Companies, the developer of the project, has expressed interest in connecting to the Chatham village water and sewer systems. A small part of the site for the proposed market would be in the village, with the rest in the town of Ghent. The village had suggested that Price Chopper propose having the Town of Ghent create a water and sewer district for the site, with Chatham providing services to it.

According to Mr. Guterman, the board discussed this possibility at their workshop meeting earlier in the month, “under the premise that we would be doing so only as a facilitator, and would not be responsible or obligated in any way for costs and expenses.” Ghent officials intend to see whether the village is willing to enter an agreement under these terms.

*Heard Mr. Andrews say that the Ghent tree lighting will take place Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m. at the Ghent town hall. According to town clerk Michelle Radley, there will be refreshments, reindeer, coloring contests with prizes, a band and more.

*Heard Mr. Andrews say that the town’s food pantry numbers for October broke records in almost all categories. There were 97 families, 137 children, 186 adults, 16 seniors, and 13 new clients. The only category not a record was use by seniors.

The board has a workshop meeting scheduled for December 6 at 7 p.m. The next regular board meeting is December 20 at 7:30 p.m.


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