The 2018 Woodstock budget presented by town supervisor Bill McKenna is under the state tax cap. The tax levy of $5,954,768 is 2.16 percent over the 2017 amount. Figures include the general and highway funds, and the lighting, sewer and water districts. Not included as a factor in the cap are the library or fire districts, separate taxing entities run by autonomous boards.
The proposed levy is $55,211 below the tax cap of $6,009,979. While the cap is set at two percent or the current rate of inflation, certain funds are exempt. There are other factors, such as whether the town went over budget or if there is a surplus from the previous year.
Spending in the general fund is proposed at $5,081,533, an increase of $209,031, or 4.29 percent over the 2017 budget of $4,872,502. The highway budget is proposed at $2,294,410, an increase of $104,323, or 4.76 percent over the 2017 budget of $2,190,087.
Water rates will increase from 41 cents to 42 cents per 100 gallons. Sewer rates are unchanged at $1.02 per 100 gallons. The quarterly base charge for water and sewer remains unchanged at $17.
“I anticipate borrowing $350,000 for the sewer district reed bed project short-term from the general fund balance,” McKenna said in the annual supervisor’s budget message. “The sewer district budget has a $30,500 charge to the expense side for a bond payment and interest for next year. A $30,500 charge to the revenue side of the general fund makes this loan tax-cap neutral.”
McKenna noted borrowing from one in-house fund instead of outside bonding was more cost-effective to the town.
Planting reed beds at the wastewater treatment plant will save the town a significant amount of money in the long run because sludge won’t have to be trucked to Albany for further treatment.
The town board will meet with department heads next week to discuss their parts of the budget. The town set public hearings to be held at the October 17 meeting for comments on the water, on-site and hamlet sewer districts.
Town officials’ salaries
Under the proposed budget, McKenna’s pay will be $55,404, a 2.25 percent increase over the current $54,185; town clerk Jackie Earley, $50,200, or 5.25 percent over the current $49,183; highway superintendent Mike Reynolds, $67,916, or 2.25 percent over the current $66,421; town councilpersons, $10,629 each, or 4.81 percent over the current $10,141.