December 10, 2012

Public apparently satisfied with Clinton County budget

Few comment on spending; increase trimmed


---- —  PLATTSBURGH — The proposed 2013 budget for Clinton County has gotten better, and apparently the public approves.

At Wednesday night’s public hearing on the budget, County Administrator and Budget Officer Michael Zurlo put forth some changes that lowered the tax-levy and tax-rate increases.

The changes came largely in the form of last-minute estimates for health-insurance costs, which resulted in the county saving more money than expected.

The new tax-levy increase is now 1.3 percent instead of 1.9 percent. The new figure is 1.8 percent below what the state would have allowed under its tax cap.

The composite tax rate was at $6.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value, but now it is $6.07. The actual amount depends on what community people live in. The 2012 composite rate is $6.05.

At the public hearing, only two people spoke about the $155 million spending plan.

Ewa Jankowska of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System and William Laundry of the Clinton County Historical Society both thanked legislators for their budget support and briefly outlined some of their services.

No one from the general public had anything to say.

County Finance Committee Chairwoman Sara Rowden (D-Area 4, Town of Plattsburgh) suspected that’s because the budget featured respectable numbers.

“I’ve heard a lot of people comment on the budget, and they do seem to be satisfied,” Rowden said.

“And now it’s even better, and that is more good news.”

Legislators can amend the budget up until they vote on it at their meeting next Wednesday night.

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