Scotia Board of Trustees brings budget to public

The Village of Scotia Board of Trustees will present its $5.75 million preliminary budget to residents Wednesday, April 9, at a public hearing.

Residents are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions about the budget, which would increase taxes by about 1 percent.

The theory behind this budget is that with revenues better than projected, we are in a position to run the village, replace a significant amount of equipment that has long gone neglected, and insure a plan for reasonable tax increases for less than 1 percent on the tax rate this year, said Mayor Kris Kastberg.

Trustee Joe Rizzo echoed the sentiment that the budget keeps tax rates minimal while improving village services.

"I think the proposed budget is fair and well thought out. There are certain things we need to do as a village, such improving some of our dated equipment, and that will cause an increase. However, it is all in the best interest of our residents," said Rizzo.

The proposed budget includes a possible $472,000 bond that would help the village purchase doors for the Public Works building, a packer truck, street cleaner, leaf sweeper, and wash station.

Kastberg said the board would continue to try to budget conservatively as they did last year, and the proposed bond is a component of that goal.

"I think that this is a good budget for several reasons," said Kastberg. "We are in a good financial state in the village due to conservative budgeting last year, as well as several money saving initiatives taken during the past fiscal year. At the end of this fiscal year, we project a fund balance of over $900,000, which is healthy and necessary considering the priorities we have in stabilizing the erosion of the riverbank."

Not everyone on the board was in agreement about the budget. Trustee Armon Benny said he believes the budget is fiscally irresponsible and that the village should actually be looking to lower taxes.

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