Village crows over financial strength

CHATHAM–Village Mayor Tom Curran shared some good news last week about the village fund balance, saying the board now has over $350,000 in the account, according to an audit of the 2013-14 budget. Village budgets run from June to May, so the balance comes from the budget year that ended last May. Mayor Curran said, at a special board meeting last Thursday, that after the 2012-13 the board had about $6,000 in the fund balance.

“It comes from a lot of work,” he told the board at the August 28 meeting. The audit was conducted by the accounting firm Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill in Hudson. The mayor pointed out the financial work done by Village Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Henry, which included an energy audit after which the village received a $26,000 reimbursement.

He also said that the village received $129,000 from the Tracy Fund after a settlement was worked out over the ownership of the Tracy Memorial/Village Hall and $50,000 from the Ellsworth Kelly Fund for work on the parking lot behind Main Street. He called those revenues one-time budget increases that helped to bulk up the fund balance.

“Over $100,000 comes from hard work,” he said of the rest of the increase in the fund.

“Everybody did a good job staying within their budgets,” said Ms. Henry. The mayor also said the clerk’s office had been putting a lot of effort into collecting back taxes and late water and sewer bills.

“We are not, for sure, financially stressed,” said Ms. Henry of the healthy balance.

The board will be spending some money in this year’s budget on a new air compressor for the village fire company. The compressor, which fills the air tanks for the firefighters, will cost about $47,000.

Board members also adopted Local Law No. 1 of 2014, which places a moratorium on construction of new commercial buildings for the next six months while a committee completes the new village comprehensive plan.

Mayor Curran said the moratorium was a similar to a moratorium that expired last year. He said it was important to have the new comprehensive plan, and zoning laws aligned with it, in place before moving forward with any major commercial construction.

The board also had to change the date of village elections from Tuesday, March 17 to Wednesday, March 18 because of St. Patrick’s Day. The change is required by state Municipal Law whenever a village election day falls on March 17.

In other business the board discussed the plan for the Music in the Gazebo program, which will be funded by the Village Board and take place Sundays from 4 to 6 p.m. starting September 7 and running through October 5. There is information about Music in the Gazebo concerts on the village website,

The next village meeting will be Thursday, September 11 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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