JAY — The Town of Jay’s final 2013 budget came in under the state tax-levy cap after all.
At issue was a request from AuSable Forks Ambulance Service to increase its funding so emergency-medical personnel could be hired to cover shifts when volunteers are scarce.
The town had prepared a budget with two options — one that would allow hiring the EMTs and exceed the state cap and another, under the cap but without the ambulance staff.
But after the town and squad worked out details, a third choice was created.
“The Town of Jay was able to adopt the 2013 budget under the allowable tax cap and provide 24/7 coverage to our people — a win-win for everyone,” Jay Town Supervisor Randy Douglas said.
“We were within the cap by $127. Since filing the preliminary budget, we were able to gain a better sense of our expenses and revenues anticipated for 2013.”
The adopted budget has a 2.9 percent increase in the amount raised by taxes, which stays at the state tax-cap formula for Jay.
The new figures, including anticipated Tropical Storm Irene insurance recovery funds and following consultation with Ambulance Capt. William Minogue and Town Attorney Daniel Manning, enabled the Ambulance Service to reduce its original 2013 request to the Town of Jay from $54,625 to $28,111.
The Jay Town Council passed the new budget at a recent special meeting.
The budget totals about $2.6 million in appropriations, including all special districts. The tax levy goes from $1.63 million to $1.68 million for 2013.
Douglas said that, originally, Jay Budget Officer Susan Richards was asked to prepare the two proposed budgets.
The first option included the then-proposed increase of $85,351 to the ambulance budget, to provide 24/7 coverage, with a 4.82 percent levy increase. The Town of Jay would have been responsible for $54,625 of the proposed increase.
The second option excluded the paid EMTs and would have included a 1.5 percent tax-levy increase.