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Town unveils slashed budget proposal

Like last year, members of the town's planning and zoning boards will not receive raises, and town department heads had their raises reduced from a proposed two and a half percent increase down to one percent, said Caponera.

Last month, Colonie officials had proposed a highway fund increase of $1.4 million to get back on track with road maintenance and begin phasing in new federal and state stormwater management regulations. It was to be the largest increase to a tax line in the tentative budget.

The town has now cut back the spending plan by $250,000.

Last year, the town established the highway fund item as it faced increases to manage its road infrastructure. As it proposed last week, the town was forced once again to make cuts to the line item to offset increases.

"Some of that was from the paving budget, preventative maintenance, road salt and preparing for the new stormwater management regulations," Caponera said.

The new federal regulations are to be met by 2008. Currently the Department of Environmental Conservation handles most of enforcement of the new regulations, but the town will taking full control by 2008.

Despite the proposed cuts, Colonie is still on course to work the new regulations and the town employees necessary for the job, said Mary Brizzell, town supervisor.

"We have a good handle on it, and we are up there in the front rows of those folding in the storm water (regulations) into the process," said Brizzell.

The town will be hiring a stormwater coordinator for next year as outlined in the tentative budget, she said.

The town may be taking chances with some of the cuts to the highway fund, she said. But she has been assured that preventative maintenance will continue, and there will be enough salt for the winter season.

The town has not used any savings to offset increases next year.

The town expects to pass the proposed 2007 budget at the Thursday, Nov. 16, meeting.""

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