Town budget brought in under 2% tax levy cap

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:20

    Supervisor slices $800,000 to reach state-ordered goal; tentative agreement with PBA also reached Warwick — Town of Warwick supervisor Michael Sweeton announced at the regular meeting of the board at Town Hall on Nov. 17 that he worked with the town’s financial advisor Steve Brown to reduce spending by another $800,000, bringing tax levy for the 2012 preliminary budget under the two percent tax levy cap. In addition to reducing departmental budgets and spending by the three volunteer ambulance corps, the supervisor reached a tentative agreement with the police union while negotiations with CSEA local 836 continue. “I thank them for their spirit of shared sacrifice as well as their continued exceptional service to our community,” said Sweeton, who called the preliminary budget pretty bleak. The 2012 rates for village residents will be $6.70 per $1,000 compared to $6.27 last year and for town residents $17.94 per $1,000 compared to $17.36 last year. The rates reflect a further decrease in discretionary spending to below 2011 levels. All departments are currently operating at or under budget. Nonetheless, the supervisor expects the town will have to do more with less and increase fees in some cases to help pay for the legacy costs associated with retired workers. For 2012 pension costs are expected to account for nine percent of spending with health care costs an additional 16 percent of spending. In 2007 pensions accounted for five percent and health care 12 percent of spending. “We will continue to discuss shared service arrangements with our villages and explore ways to do more with less,” said the supervisor. In other news: In October the community preservation fund raised $33,784.06 The deadline to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for possible federal disaster assistance is Dec. 15. To register, call 800-621-3362 or for people with hearing disabilities call the TTY number 800-462-7585. Applicants also can register online at The first community outreach meeting of the citizens advisory committee to oversee development of the former Mid-Orange Correctional facility is scheduled for Dec. 7. Details to follow. The park in Pine Island has a very special new amenity setup in the children’s area. The new swing set is ADA handicap accessible, announced councilman Leonard DeBuck. On Dec. 23 in the gymnasium of the old Pine Island school Girl Scout Victoria Garlic will host a turkey dinner with all the trimmings for all people in need. The effort is in collaboration with the Vision Community Church. More details to follow. The board will continue two public hearings for unsafe structures at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8. The first is about Castle Tavern located on the east shore of Greenwood Lake and owned by Michael Colandra and the other is about the bridge at 49 Buttermilk Falls Road, a property owned by John Silverman. The board also will consider a local law entitled “Assessments other than Special Districts or Local Improvements” on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall. The next regular meeting of the board is Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Warwick Town Hall, 132 Kings Highway.