Germantown, eying 1.6% tax increase, sets budget hearing

GERMANTOWN—The Public Hearing on the town’s 2014 budget is Thursday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 50 Palatine Park Road. Supervisor Roy Brown and the Town Board have completed their work on the preliminary 2014 budget, Mr. Brown announced at Monday’s board meeting. Barring unforeseen complications, the board will adopt the budget November 7.

The tax levy increase in the preliminary budget is 1.62%. The total town appropriations are $1,297,973 ($680,213 for the General Fund, $617,760 for the Highway Fund). This is offset by $439,596 in estimated revenues other than property taxes, and by using some of the town’s unexpended balance (reserve fund): $150,000 for the General Fund and $130,000 for the Highway Fund.

This leaves the amount to be raised by taxes at $ 578,377 ($196,013 for the General Fund and $382,364 for the Highway Fund).

In addition, Germantown residents who live in the lighting district pay for that through their property taxes, a total of $5,900. The sewer district appropriation ($175,850) pays for itself through estimated revenues ($167,400) and unexpended balance ($8,450).

The grand total to be raised by taxes is $584,277, or $9,493 more than the 2013 total of $574,784, resulting in the 1.62% tax levy increase.

In other business the board:

•At the request of the two town justices, approved their grant application to the state Justice Court Assistance Program for replacing the front and rear doors in Town Hall, where the court is, and the purchase of three computers, a printer and a fax machine

•Approved the purchase, for $771, of a laptop computer for maintenance and parks director Anthony Cidras, the first computer for that office

•Congratulated the town History Department upon its receipt of a grant of $5,000 from the Alexander and Marjorie Hover Foundation, based in Germantown

•Noted two events for Saturday, October 26. The Economic Development Committee meets at 9 a.m. in the Gtel conference room. As always, the meeting is open to the public. The Halloween Costume Parade steps off from Palatine Manor at 6 p.m. and ends at the Germantown School at 7 p.m. with costume prizes and a party

•Learned from Mr. Brown that the final drawings for the necessary rights-of-way for extended sidewalks in the hamlet had been sent to the state Department of Transportation office in Poughkeepsie. “Once DOT blesses the drawings, we can go to property owners and request right of way,” said Mr. Brown. He predicted sidewalk construction in late spring or early summer of next year

•Reappointed Larry Saulpaugh the representative for Germantown, Clermont and Livingston (Region 6) on the Columbia County Planning Board.

•Reminded the public that the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board still need members. Training will take place early next year, so this is a good time to join

•Learned from Mr. Brown that Troy & Banks had completed their audit of the town’s utility bills and found only an overcharge of $181. Less $50 to Troy& Banks, $131 will be returned to the Sewer Department.

•Reminded the public of the county Department of Health flu shot clinic Wednesday, October 30 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Town Hall

•Thanked Donna Diehl for planning her annual Thanksgiving Day dinner Thursday, November 28 from noon to 1 p.m. Those who wish a dinner should call Ms. Diehl in advance, at 537-6405

•Discussed with town attorney Tal Rappleyea the sale of a property on Camp Creek Road that includes an old cemetery. If the cemetery is abandoned, it becomes the property of the town. Perpetual care accounts may lessen the cost of maintenance. Empty plots would require an infrastructure for selling them. The town already maintains a cemetery in the Cheviot neighborhood. Mr. Brown will ask George Fox at the Yadack-Fox Funeral Home in town about the history of the cemetery and report back to the board.

All board members and an audience of about two dozen attended the meeting. The board meets next on Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m.


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