The Glenville police and public works departments may not get what they were looking for out of the proposed budget for next year. Based on numbers the town currently has, the budget will run about $500,000 under what the town needs.
Supervisor Frank Quinn said at the Wednesday, Aug. 21, town board meeting that town departments will have to take a different approach on what they are asking for, including prioritizing and looking at essential and non-essential needs.
The town has frozen hiring, equipment purchases and overtime in response to the budget shortfall.
The board is still in the discussion stages of the budget, but, Quinn said, they will be taking a bare-bones approach.
We are not looking at taking on any additional requests that will add to our expenses. Unless it is crucial for safety reasons, it needs to be looked at twice, said Quinn.
In March, police Chief Michael Ranalli examined bids to replace a 20-year-old dispatch system, a project still slated to be completed by the end of the year despite the budget shortfall. The police department is hoping they are able to secure a $1.5 million bond for the new dispatch center. The current system does not have computer dispatch, which shows an address and a map on the screen when a call comes into the center. The new system would have a touch screen that would allow dispatchers to go between different frequencies, allowing them to see calls being dispatched to other departments in real time.
Meanwhile, the Public Works Department has its own requests: Commissioner Rick LeClair wants three additional employees as well as funds for trucks and paving.
`There are streets that we have to address; the roads are in need of paving, and residents want it done. They pay their taxes; they want their streets to reflect it,` said LeClair.
He said the board is essentially raising the bar that departments will have to clear to justify these expenses.
Board member Chris Koetzle said when he joined the board last year, he was skeptical of a budget process that allowed `wish lists` from all town departments. He said even though it was a way of making department heads prioritize, it was a system that would continue to raise taxes at a level that people can no longer afford. He said he wants to do away with the wish lists.
`If we ask our departments to take an approach of what is absolutely essential, it doesn’t start us out at raising taxes no matter what. It’s not going to be the difference between a high tax rate and an even higher tax rate,` said Koetzle.
The board also announced a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, at Town Hall to discuss the proposed zoning change at 69 Saratoga Road and 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 Dover Place. Bordeau Builders is proposing to construct an 18-unit apartment building at 69 Saratoga Road.“