Village gets snapshot of budget progress

CHATHAM–Accountant Michael Torchia provided the Village Board and Mayor Tom Curran with a year-to-date budget January 10, which is now available to anyone who wishes to keep tabs on village expenditures.

Mayor Curran and the board had been promising the year-to-date budgets for weeks, but a number of factors ranging from software malfunctions to manual oversights had delayed Mr. Torchia’s work. The firm of Sickler, Torchia, Allen and Churchill have handled the village’s finances since 2011.

The release of information comes in part as a response to public inquiry as to why Police Department hours are being reduced, which Mayor Curran says is a necessary move to address budget constraints.

The village budget, as Mr. Torchia has displayed it, shows the amount budgeted versus the amount spent by each department as well as the percent of the department’s budget remaining for the fiscal year, which runs through April.

Next year’s budget season begins soon, and the mayor will introduce his budget at some point in the beginning of February.

In other village business, longtime attorney Dick Alford has notified the board of trustees he plans to retire, and the search for a new attorney has begun. Among those who have submitted a proposal is Christine Chale who represented the village in its recent litigation with Price Chopper.

Village Administrator Barbara Henry has presented her vision for the next several weeks–her first in the newly created position. She’ll aid the external accounting firm working for the village in handling finances as its chief fiscal officer, including routing receivables from water and sewer bills, and managing insurance payments.

Ms. Henry’s plan also included a review of payroll, as well as boosting village technology capabilities, such as wireless routing within the Tracy Memorial Building and electronic scanning of village documents.

Part of her goal is also to improve communication between the administration and village residents by creating public workshops prior to board meetings and to update the village website.

The next village board meeting Thursday February 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.




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