Chatham village budget plan cleaves to cap

CHATHAM–The Village Board held its last 2015-16 budget workshop meeting last week before the regular meeting April 9. The board reviewed the proposed $1.1 million budget, about a $20,000 increase in spending over last year but with a tax levy that’s still less than the state’s property tax cap of just under 2%.

The board plans to put the budget on the agenda for a vote at its next meeting April 23.

Describing the budget preparation, Mayor Tom Curran said, “I thought it was a good process.” He cited input from department heads and pointed out that the village had replaced several old pieces of equipment, including two trucks, which is reflected as a savings in maintenance costs. The board also added a fulltime employee who salary will be split between the lines for sewer and streets.

“I think the budget looks fine,” said Trustee Lenore Packet.

Members of the fire company attended the budget meeting as well as one resident, Francis Iaconetti, who asked several questions. Mr. Iaconetti questioned the board as to why the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals need funding when they should be funded through fines and permit fees. “This should be a break-even department,” he said. Ms. Packett said the board planned to review fines and permit fees this year. “We have that in the plans,” she said, adding that the board hopes to “bring the fees and fines up to something.”

Copies of the proposed budget are available on the village website at www.villageofchatham.com or at the clerk’s office in the Tracy Memorial Village Hall.

At the regular meeting that started after the budget hearing, the board held its annual organizationalmeeting, appointing Ms. Packet deputy mayor and Trustee Adrienne Morrell liaison to the Zoning and Planning boards, and the building inspector.

Mayor Curran was appointed police commissioner, Trustee Jay Rippel was appointed fire commissioner, Trustee Michael Wollowitz was appointed wastewater/water commission and Ms. Packet was Street and Snow Removal liaison.

Village meetings were set for the second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. with special workshop meetings on the fourth Thursday of month.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board signed an intermunicipal agreement with the county and the other towns and villages to share services. The Village of Kinderhook and the Town of Kinderhook have also signed the agreement, which spells out sharing procedures many municipalities already have in place for their public works departments and equipment.
  • Village Clerk Barbara Henry said that there have been only a few orders for rain barrels and composting bins the village is offering for sale and more orders are needed to qualify for the discount being offered.

The clerk’s office is taking orders for the purchase of the barrels and bins at wholesale prices. The price for the rain barrel is $55 including tax and the price for the composter is $46.50.

The next village meeting will be Thursday, April 23 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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