By Alex Brooks
The Petersburgh Town Board held a Public Hearing on its 2018 Preliminary Town Budget on Thursday, November 9. There was no significant criticism of the budget offered by those present and the Public Hearing ended before its allotted half hour was up, so the Board killed time until 7:30 when they convened a special meeting and unanimously approved the Budget.
Overall appropriations are up by about 3.5% to $1,219,255, offset by revenues of $355,271. The Town applied $30,000 of its unexpended fund balance to reduce the tax levy, so the tax levy will be $761,414.
This is $12,532 more than last year, an increase of about 1.7%. The Town tax cap figure is 1.84%, so this budget stays under the tax cap.
The budget increases capital outlay for Town Hall improvements by about $10,000, as they have a number of projects planned to complete renovations on the building. There are some increases in the contractual line of some town departments for new software. The budget increases the salary of the Code Enforcement Officer by several thousand dollars, and increases the appropriations for Attorney by $3,000, as the Town is now paying its environmental attorney Kevin Young as well as its regular attorney Dave Gruenberg. Appropriation for Garbage expenses is up by $3,000 and Garbage revenue is down by $6,000, based on actual revenue and expenses from this year.
The Highway budget increases appropriations for general road repairs and snow removal, and reduces appropriations for equipment, but it continues to put $20,000 into an equipment reserve fund to pay for future purchases of heavy equipment. Anticipated revenue from the CHIPs program (State highway aid) is down from $100,000 last year to $80,000 this year.
Last year’s revenue was higher than usual and Town Bookkeeper Charles Guntner indicated the $80,000 figure is closer to what the Town usually receives from CHIPS.