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2014 budget decreases tax levy

Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - Updated: 10:15 PM

By DEBORAH BUCK

For the C-S-E

FLAT CREEK -- At the Nov. 13 Root Town Council meeting, board members unanimously adopted the 2014 town budget.

The 2014 budget carries a total tax levy of $337,718 based upon a total appropriation of $1,263,423 less estimated revenues of $840,705, less fund balance and appropriation reserves of $85,000.

The 2014 tax levy will be 3.26838 per $1,000 of assessed valuation as compared to the current tax levy rate of 3.27234 of $1,000 assessed valuation, a decrease of 0.12 percent. 

Board of Appeals Member Paul Toleno reported that the council would lose a member effective Jan. 1, 2014, as Gary Kamp will take over as the new town supervisor on that date. Town Planning Board Member Vito Polyvan also reported that the planning board has no alternate member.

Two candidates for the Board of Assessment review position, Dave Klinansmith and Pete Way, introduced themselves and provided background information about their skills, careers, and other political offices held. 

Dave Klinansmith has been a town of root resident since 1988 and currently serves on the Board of Appeals. He is a retired service manager for Green Trucking. Pete Way has been a town resident for 36 years and was a Town Planning Board member for 11 years. He has held no political office for 7-8 years and wants to get involved again.The town council approved Pete Way’s appointment to the Board of Assessment Review.  

Supervisor John Thayer reported that the mortgage tax distribution from Montgomery County for the third quarter was $11,900.69 in comparison to $5,838.32 received for the same period in 2012. The sales tax distribution check for the third quarter was $116,498.73 in comparison to the 2012 check in the amount of $106,962.

The town council reviewed the separate health insurance benefit packages for the highway department employees and for the assessor and code enforcement officer, through CDPHP, and approved them, assigning a 90-day waiting period from date of hire. It was noted that the actual costs of the 2014 plans are very close to current costs. 

Retiree health insurance plan options were also discussed; a special meeting was to be held on November 20 to review the change from MVP to CDPHP with the town’s retirees. The deadline for a decision will be December 10.

There was some discussion about the new salt and sand shed funding; Supervisor Thayer reported that the town’s healthy fund balance plus the increased sales tax revenues received from the county in recent years puts the town in a good financial position, with a fund balance of about $600,000 at the time of the meeting. 

The town council approved transferring $445,000 from the fund balance to the capital projects line. 

The town council received two bids for paving the salt and sand shed structure: $51,812.50 from Cobleskill Stone and $55,400 from Hanson Paving. Hanson Paving’s bid was unanimously accepted by council members. Supervisor Thayer noted that Hanson Paving’s bid included more tonnage and the town would only be charged for the actual tonnage used. 

Following the town council meeting, this reporter interviewed newly elected town councilman Dominic “Nick” Cuomo, who ran unopposed for the town council seat held by Gary Kamp.

Cuomo has lived in the town of Root since 2002. He is a retired cop with two daughters. When questioned about why he ran for a position on the Root Town Council, Cuomo, answered, “I like it here. I like the town. It’s a privilege to be involved with -- it’s a good thing.”

When asked what he would like to accomplish as town councilman, Cuomo responded, “My first accomplishment is to learn how things work -- learn the inner workings of the town.”

When asked about his goals, Cuomo further commented, “Things seem to run very well (in the town). I’m here to fit in and do my part -- not come in like a force of nature.”  

     

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