Town bud­get hear­ing held open un­til Nov. 11

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

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.

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