Town of Warwick adopts $19.7 million budget
Village residents to pay $16.50 increase; town residents increase is $51
WARWICK — The Town of Warwick adopted its 2019 budget, which came in 1.4 percent over the state’s tax cap.
The average homeowner in the town outside of villages will pay an additional $51 over the course of the 2019 year.
Residents in the villages will see an increase of $16.50 in 2019.
The budget totals $19,766,706. The tax cap for the town was $286,298.
Cost increasesHowever, the contractual increases to the cost of the New York State Health Plan for town and union employees was $302,000.
Mandated contributions to the employee retirement account increased by $251,967.
Those two increases alone were nearly twice the allowable increase. The town had previously passed a local law allowing them to bypass the restriction.
Supervisor Michael Sweeton said the town board and the town’s department heads have been working on this budget since August.
“We went to work, line by line,” said Sweeton. “Even with our efforts to grow non-property tax revenues, this increase pushes us over the cap."
The department heads presented their budgets to the town board and then the board determined what was necessary and what they could do without, said Sweeton.
They were able to cute $1 million from the department heads’ requests.
AdditionsThe town will be adding two police officers and two new police vehicles.
In addition, the town added $50,000 to the Highway Department budget to replace “an antiquated fuel system” that supplies fuel for the Village of Florida, the town of Warwick and the Village of Warwick.
The police budget is the largest expense in the town’s budget. The town has five posts in the town every shift, 24 hours a day. Sweeton said they need 5.2 officers to staff the post 24/7.
Sweeton thanked town workers for their part in helping to keep costs down by doing more with less.
Special districtsThe town also adopted its budget for special districts within the town, including water, sewer, lighting, ambulance and fire districts.
The total for the special districts is $7,376,621. Only residents who live in a special district pay the taxes for that district.
No members of the public spoke at either budget hearing.
The action took place on a rare Saturday morning meeting after postponing its Nov. 15, 2018 meeting because of the season’s first snow.
The budget is available to view on the town’s website, www.townofwarwick.org.