Town budget hearing held open until Nov. 11
The Town Board has held open a public hearing until Nov. 11 on a proposed $3.65 million town budget for 2017 that would decrease spending by $44,899, or 1.2 percent.
A hearing on Monday was recessed after no public comments were made.
The proposal calls for a property tax levy of $2.2 million, down 0.6 percent from 2016. The 2017 amount is $23,837 below the state’s limit for Rhinebeck.
Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia said the biggest challenge in crafting the budget was providing benefits and services.
“What’s driving the budget is health insurance costs, of course, and the need to provide more service in our building, planning and zoning departments,” she said. “We have a wonderful comprehensive plan and it needs enforcement, and we have a lot of building and projects going on here and it needs oversight. We have a part-time zoning enforcement officer at 20 hours a week; it’s not sufficient.”
Salaries in the budget include $20,000 for the supervisor, unchanged from 2016; $5,753 for each of four Town Board members, also unchanged; $6,743 for the tax collector, up 2 percent; $9,897 for each of the three assessors, unchanged; $41,653 for the town clerk, up 2 percent; and $55,682 for the highway superintendent, unchanged.
The proposed 2017 budget also includes:
• $449,682 for highway general repairs, up 0.2 percent from 2016.
• $393,423 for employee benefits, up 15 percent.
• $240,389 for snow removal, down 1.3 percent.
• $142,071 for highway machinery, down 36.9 percent.
• $106,486 for pool expenses, down 1 percent.
• $66,527 for playgrounds, up 4.5 percent.