Glenville residents can expect a preliminary 2022 City Budget from the Supervisor at the end of the month.
But to give residents a budget snapshot, Supervisor Chris Koetzle hosted a budget forum on Wednesday evening where he discussed the city’s financial state, its priorities for the city next year, and the challenges that will continue. to torment the city as the budget is drawn up.
“We have budgeted wisely over the past 12 years,” Koetzle said. “We are in a very solid fiscal position.
Koetzle said the measures the city has put in place over the years, like using less excess funds and finding ways to pay in cash, have allowed the city to reduce its debt to $ 11 million by the end. this year, up from $ 23 million in 2009, create reserve accounts to pay for projects and keep the state tax cap below the 2% requirement.
Board member Mike Godlewski said while the tax cap has not exceeded 2%, it has been or is close to it.
“I would like us to stay in a 1% to 1.5% increase,” Godlewski said Thursday.
He said he and board member Michael Aragosa voted against two of the city’s last three budgets because they thought the tax increase was too big.
Koetzle said residents of Glenville pay the comparatively lowest tax of any municipality in Schenectady County.
But there are costs that will continue to challenge the city, Koetzle said. These include increased medical benefit costs, pension reserve payments and inflation, while the tax cap remains at 2%.
Health insurance is expected to increase from $ 80,000 to $ 100,000.
“It’s actually low,” Koetzle said.
That means taxpayers in 2022 will pay more than $ 2 million in health benefits for city employees, Koetzle said.
The city is also planning six retirements with a potential sick leave payment of $ 230,000. He said it will be paid for using the city’s retirement reserve account. He said the board must continue to figure out how to replenish this account for future pensions.
As Koetzle continues to prepare the budget, he said his top priorities are:
- Continue paving projects
- Continue to improve the park
- Pursue more climate-smart initiatives
- Work to build more footbridges and footpaths
- Continue to remodel and build along Freeman’s Bridge Road
Koetzle said he does not plan to use federal stimulus funds in Budget 2022 because the parameters for how the money can be used have not yet been fully clarified.
Godlewski has said he would like something to be done with the federal stimulus money.
“If it is determined that it can be used that way, I would like some to be used to treat our infrastructure, especially our roads,” he said.
Godlewski and assistant supervisor Gina Wierzbowski said on Thursday that an intern from the highways department recently made a presentation showing the board how the roads are holding up in the city.
Board member Mike Aragosa said on Thursday he would also like to see federal stimulus money used, but did not specify for what.
Infrastructure, however, was the top priority for almost all of the board members.
In addition to figuring out how to spend the stimulus money, Aragosa said there was infrastructure, like painting the water towers, that still needed to be done.
“We’ve known this for some time and we haven’t done anything about it,” he said.
He said paving is also expected to continue. But besides infrastructure projects, youth programs should be funded again, Aragosa said.
Wierzbowski said paving is something she wants to pursue as well. “It’s something that they can see, smell and touch,” she said.
But his other goals were to ensure that municipal services remained intact, including continuing to have adequate staff and well-maintained equipment.
Wierzbowski said she was also in talks with the supervisor about the possibility of creating a community garden behind Anderson Dog Park.
Aragosa said the city did not fund its summer program last year. He said the explanation given was that there were not enough children in town participating. He said funding should be restored and additional programs should be considered.
City Council member James Martin could not be reached for comment.
Budget hearings are scheduled to take place in October. City comptroller Jason Cuthbert said the city is expected to pass the final budget on November 17.
Another Budget Forum will be held on September 21 at 7 p.m. at the Glenville Senior Center.
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