KINDERHOOK–The Town Board held a special meeting Thursday, November 7, to adopt the 2014 budget. The spending plan carries with it no increase in town property taxes.
The $2.5-million budget is divided among general fund expenditures of $952,888; general fund spending outside the village at $130,000; and highway costs outside the village of $1.4 million. The Village of Valatie pays the town $82,000 for Highway Department services. The Village of Kinderhook funds its own public works department.
The board also contracts with several fire districts that service the town, including Kinderhook, Chatham, Stuyvesant Falls and Valatie, for about $98,000. The largest portion of that spending goes to support the Kinderhook Fire Department, in the Village of Kinderhook, for $64,277. The other departments receive about $11,000 each.
Though state employee retirement contributions have increased, Mr. Grattan said the board was able to keep the taxes flat because the town plans lower expenditures and the budget “maxed out revenues,” Mr. Grattan said.
The supervisor said that only one employee paid for through the general fund receives health benefits from the town.
The board is also saving money on the town swimming and recreation program. The board recently signed a contract with the Town of Chatham to move the swim lessons and summer afternoon swimming to the recreation program to Crellin Park. The town will save about $32,000 in rental and maintenance of Knickerbocker Lake and the beach there.
The board is also hoping to sell the former Town Hall in Niverville at an auction run by Mr. Grattan Saturday, December 7. The board set a minimum bid of $140,000 for the building and the five-acre property. That money will go into a fund for capital improvements at the current town hall in the Glynn Municipal Building in Valatie and not into the general budget.
As for the 2014 budget, Mr. Grattan said that assessed values in the town have gone down by $10 million over the last four years. He said the town should see another couple of years of decreases and then it will flatten out.
The next regular Town Board meeting will be Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m. in the Glynn Building.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email firstname.lastname@example.org.