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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Town Board Meeting Tonight...

November 5, 2008 at 6 p.m. in Butler Hall. Agenda is now available online.

Also, tonight at the start of the Town Board meeting is a Public Hearing on the 2009 Preliminary Budget. A few changes have been made to the budget since the 2009 Tentative Budget was made available in October. The $155,000 for the new roof at the Rec Center was cut out. Instead, they will probably just sell another Bond Anticipation Note to pay for that. The paving was lowered from $400,000 to $200,000, but the Highway expense doesn't impact the tax rate.

However, it is interesting to note that the tax rate was lowered from the projected $2.53 per thousand first reported to $2.19 per thousand of assessed value for the Preliminary Budget. Funny thing is the total budget is actually more now than it was for the Tentative Budget that was available in October. How did they raise the total budget and lower the tax rate? They merely used more of the fund balance to offset the expenses.
Tentative Budget Summary Sheet released in October 2008:
$14,791,740 Tax Rate $ 2.53

Preliminary Budget Summary Sheet released in November 2008:
$14,965,503 Tax Rate $ 2.19
So they really didn't cut any expenses; if necessary they will just use more "unrestricted funds", i.e. cash on hand, money left over from previous budgets, money market accounts, and Fees in Lieu of Mitigation monies.

Viola! Total total budget is rate is down!

Here is a copy of the 2009 Preliminary Budget to be discussed tonight.

We also FOILed a copy of the 2007 Audited Financial Statement. Another year of an adverse opinion. But not to worry, corrective action was taken at the August 13, 2008 town board meeting. The town board, upon the advice of Frank Basile, voted to retain Industrial Appraisal Services for $8,655 and Armory Associates, LLC for $6,500 to bring the Town in Compliance with GASB 34 and 45. That along with yearly updates at an additional cost, plus the $100,000+ that the town pays Frank Basile should make for an unqualified opinion for the 2008 Audited Financial Statement.

How do they do it?


Anonymous said...

In today's paper I read with interest the $40,000 more that the Smith Co wants for the Comprehensive Town Study Maybe it is kind of like making the "all-star" team and you get a bonus for making it Page 29 of the Town Crier shows the planning board getting a honorable mention from some unheard of organization, does this mean the Smith agency gets that bonus for this award?

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me who the "clerk of the works" were for the various projects listed and how the pay for these jobs is derived in the budget? How does one get hird for these positions?

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

We attended last night's Planning Board meeting and Chairman Hans Arnold said that he discussed the $40,000 increase in a phone call with a represenative of peter j. smith. Hans then handed out a letter from peter j. smith that stated they were going to continue on working with the town without the additional $40,000 they initially requested. Does leave a question as to why they requested it in the first place. Perhaps they see the Town of New Hartford as the "pot of gold at the end of the rainbow".

Hans Arnold deserves the credit for bringing some sanity to the situation.

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

Anonymous #2,

"Clerks of the works" are hired by the town to ensure that the particular construction project is done in accordance with specifications.

Each developer provides money to the town to pay for the "clerk of the works" should see an expense and a revenue line in the budget for each project.

We have no idea who the actual people were that got the job(s) or how they got them, but if it is like everything else in government, the jobs go to "friends" of the town.

In theory, the job should go to a person who has expertise in the particular area they are hired to oversee.