April 22, 2013

Port Henry budget stays under cap


---- — PORT HENRY — After numerous workshops and a lot of work, the new Village of Port Henry budget came in under the state tax cap.

Village Board of Trustees members originally thought they might have to exceed the cap, but the 2013-14 budget was passed recently with only a 2 percent increase in the amount to be raised by property taxes.

The new tax levy is $528,050, a $10,465 increase over $517,580 this fiscal year.

The projected tax rate for 2013-14 is $10.64 per $1,000 of assessment, up 23 cents from $10.41 in 2011-2012.

Increases in State Retirement System payments, liability insurance, workers compensation, medical insurance and equipment costs all impacted the budget, village officials said.

“This budget allows the village to continue services which have been provided in the past,” Trustee Ruth McDonough said. “The increase is mostly due to mandated services, workers compensation and so on.”

Village employees who are Teamsters Local 294 union members will get contractual 2.5 percent raises. There are no raises in the budget for elected officials.

There were reductions in village debt service and the Department of Public Works budget that helped balance the new spending plan.

Mayor Ernest Guerin said the DPW was held to an equipment budget of just $16,200 for next year. He said they went through the budget item by item to see what could be cut.

“They (Village Board) did a good job,” Village Treasurer Cathy Law Davenport said. “They worked very hard to get there.”

She said health-insurance costs were up 17 percent and retirement, 11.7 percent, so they had challenges from the start.

“It took a while. It was a difficult process.”

Three citizens attended the recent public hearing on the budget, she said, and just one asked a question about it.

“I think people realized the board had done a good job on the budget.”

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