Press-Republican

Tuesday

March 19, 2013

Job losses part of Village of Malone budget

MALONE — Some village employees are losing their jobs June 1.

But the Village Board won’t say how many, who they are, how much the layoffs could save or if the losses are temporary or permanent.

“There will be a workforce reduction in the Village of Malone,” said Mayor Todd LePine following a 30-minute executive session during a special Village Board meeting on Monday called to unveil the tentative 2013-14 budget.

“This was an extremely hard decision,” he said.

NO DETAILS YET

Board members said they wanted to speak to impacted employees before releasing the information to the media and declined to give details because they said they just don’t have them yet.

Trustee Joe Riccio did say the cuts are “across the board.”

BENEFITS COSTLY

LePine said that, by the end of the week, more details can be released about the job losses, which are being blamed on the escalating costs of providing retirement and health-insurance coverage to active and past employees.

Five-year projections using the best figures available to Village Treasurer Dorothy Maguire indicate the combined cost of state and police retirement for the village could go from $333,500 in 2013-14 to more than $490,000 by 2017-18.

And health-insurance costs could reach more than $1.1 million within the next five years.

“You have the numbers. That’s what’s driving all of this — health and retirement benefits,” Trustee Michael Maneely said.

LEVY UP 2%

The tentative budget is $7,162,003, an increase of 2.06 percent from this year.

The tax levy, or amount to be raised by taxes, is $3,049,994, an increase of 2 percent.

The tax rate per $1,000 of assessed-property value is $19.87 compared to $19.44 this year.

A property in the village valued at $100,000 would see a tax increase of $42.68.

The budget includes the contracted 2 percent raise for the Village Police Department.

Sewer and water rates remain the same in the tentative budget, “but that can be revisited,” Maguire said.

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