SCOTIA-GLENVILLE: Glenville passes budget

Glenville officials have approved a $10.7 million budget for 2007,which is an increase of $312,723, or 3 percent.

Contracts with the Police Benevolence Association (PBA), Civil Servants Employees Association (CSEA) and highway union are still under negotiation.

The discussions are amicable, said Supervisor Frank Quinn.

Talks with the PBA, however, have moved on to the level of mediation.

"This is not what you'd say is hostile," said Quinn. "These negotiations can go on forever if neither side wants to give. We're frustrated, but it's reality."

Efforts to reach PBA president Sgt. Steve Janack were unsuccessful. The union talks have been going on for 12 months.

"All three union contracts were up for renewal at the end of 2005," said Quinn. "The previous board didn't resolve them."

The negotiations include contracts for employee pay raises, buy-outs and cash-outs for retiring employees and health insurance carriers.

The typical cost of living wage increases for town employees averages about 3 percent, Quinn said.

"The outgoing board didn't fund enough for any pay increases, so that spills over into our budget," said Quinn. "We didn't have enough money, but we made it work."

Despite the open contracts, the town budget calls for only a marginal tax increase for taxpayers. There are two tax districts within the town; town of Glenville residents, of which there are 28,500 taxpayers, and village of Scotia residents, which account for 7,800 taxpayers. Village residents will see an annual tax increase of $27 per year; for town of Glenville residents, that figure will be $19 per year, due in part to differently assessed property valuations.

Quinn said the town's flat revenues are one of the greatest challenges in producing a balanced budget.

"There are new developments coming into town, but they're not yet occupied homes, so they're not paying into the tax base," said Quinn. "Ninety percent of our taxes are on private homes. There's no large commercial base in the town."

The town board also dealt with an 11 percent jump in insurance costs for employees, of which there are approximately 110.

"Seventy-four percent of our budget is paying benefits," said Quinn. "This is true for all municipalities today." ""

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