Supervisor Chris Koetzle Reports to You
I am pleased to submit my tentative 2018 budget to the Town Board. This is a conservative spending plan which once again stays within the state imposed real property tax cap limit. The Town of Glenville has stayed under the tax cap every year since it was implemented. As we have done every year, we have managed to achieve tax cap compliance without relying on gimmicks such as new fees on residents or the deferral of required payments to the state retirement system.
The overall proposed 2018 tax levy increase is 1.68%, which is below our New York State tax cap. A typical Glenville homeowner outside the village will see a total 2018 town tax bill increase of $7 which covers all town items on your January tax bill: town general, town outside, highway, water, sewer, and all special districts. A typical village homeowner will see a 2018 increase of $3.
The 2018 budget also once again reduces our reliance on using fund balance. This will be the eighth seventh consecutive budget in which we have reduced total fund balance appropriation in the town general, town outside, and highway funds. In 2018, we will utilize a total of $360,000 in fund balance appropriation across these three main funds, a reduction of $105,000 from the 2017 budget. When this Town Board was first elected in 2010, we inherited a budget that used almost $1,400,000 in fund balance appropriation for these funds. This may work in the short-term but is unsustainable in the long-term. I am proud to report that this Board has now cut our reliance on fund balance appropriations by nearly 75% over the past 8 years. We again expect to reduce our fund balance appropriation again in the 2019 budget as we close in on fully eliminating the use of fund balance for day-to-day operations.
We will also continue to avoid unnecessary borrowing, in keeping with the philosophy which has seen us reduce the overall Town debt load from $23.1 million to $14.9 million – a reduction of over $8 million - since taking office in 2010. The 2018 budget will result in a further net debt reduction of over $1.2 million. As with fund balance appropriation, this Town Board anticipates a further reduction in the Town’s overall debt load in the 2019 budget.
In recent years, we have made significant investments in Town infrastructure and equipment. We have recently begun replacement of all water meters in the Town with new automatic-read meters which will save time and money for both residents and staff. These new meters should be fully installed by spring 2018. In early 2017, the Town utilized $100,000 from capital reserves to purchase the historic Yates Mansion and save the building from possible demolition. In a matter of months we have been able to shore up the building and secure $150,000 in grant funding to begin the multi-year rehabilitation project. In the past few years this Board and Highway Superintendent Tom Coppola have worked diligently to find the funds necessary to replace the aging DPW equipment we inherited. Our DPW fleet is now almost fully up-to-date and much better able to handle the demands of a Town as geographically diverse as Glenville. We have also made a number of key investments in Town parks including creation of the wildly popular Andersen Dog Park; improvement of the roads and playing fields in Indian Meadows Park; and the addition of a second entrance at Maalwyck Park.
I am proud that we have been able to make these major investments in our community while always staying under the tax cap, reducing our use of fund balance, and paying off a significant amount of debt. We will continue to build on these accomplishments in 2018. The 2018 budget, while fiscally conservative, will enable us to continue the momentum of the past 8 years. A few noteworthy items included in the 2018 budget include:
Continuing to provide our police department with the tools they need to do the job. The 2018 budget includes funding to pay cash for two new police cars, new LIDAR and radar devices, a new roadside messaging board, and additional tactical shields for officers.
Continuing to upgrade our DPW and Parks equipment. The 2018 budget will fund new Parks mowers, two additional lifts for the Highway garage, a new vacuum trailer to improve roadside drainage, a new leaf trailer vacuum, and two new pickup trucks.
Continuing to invest in the restoration of Yates Mansion. The 2018 budget includes $50,000 to help preserve this piece of Glenville history. We continue to seek out additional private and public grant opportunities to help restore Yates Mansion to its former glory.
This tentative 2018 budget is fiscally sound, operationally effective, and fair to all. We will again stay within the tax cap, invest in our community, and continue to make significant progress in creating a long-term, sustainable economic base for town residents.
In closing, I offer my thanks to the Town Board, the Deputy Supervisor, the Town Comptroller, the department heads, our employee unions, and the entire staff for their hard work on this budget and for helping this Town Board create and maintain a fiscally strong foundation for the people of Glenville.
All the best,
Supervisor Chris Koetzle