The Saugerties Village Board received no comments on the proposed 2020-2021 budget at its regular meeting on Monday, April 20. Comments would have had to be made online or by phone, as the meeting was held via teleconferencing.
The budget calls for an increase in spending from this year’s $2.250 million to $2.430 million, an increase of 3.4 percent. The amount to be raised in taxes is $1,780 million, up 2.26 percent from this fiscal year’s $1.740 million; the tax rate per $1,000 in assessed value is projected to fall from $6 to $5.90 as a result of increases in the total assessed value in the village.
The budget includes income of $25,000 each from the Town of Saugerties and contractor John Mullen towards the purchase of weed harvesting equipment to be purchased from Zdanek Ulman, also known as “Z,” who has provided weed removal services for the village but is dropping that business to concentrate on diving, his main business venture.
The budget calls for the mayor’s annual salary to remain at $10,200, and the trustees’ salaries to remain at $3.600 each.
While in-person public comment is closed, comments by mail will be accepted up to the next board meeting on May 4. Comments may be sent to the Village of Saugerties at 43 Partition Street, Saugerties, NY 12477-1134 or emailed to email@example.com.
While the budget remains unchanged from the board’s earlier presentation, trustee Donald Hackett proposed a reconsideration of the $5,000 allocated for an attorney specializing in labor negotiations. Negotiations have generally worked out amicably, and neither the village nor the unions representing the employees has taken disagreements to court. The village’s regular attorney, Benjamin Neidl, should be able to handle any disputes that come up.
Trustee Terry Parisian said having a specialist attorney on call could save the village a good deal of money if a dispute were to arise that would lead to a lawsuit involving employees or a union. Court action could be extremely costly, and having a lawyer on retainer is insurance against such expenses.
The question may be discussed further, but the budget was not amended, and any changes would be held over until next year’s budget.