Ballston OKs budget

The Town of Ballston adopted a final budget proposal for 2009 at the Thursday, Nov. 6, meeting of the Town Board. The budget weighs in at $6.26 million, a nearly $600,000 increase from last year's offering.

The budget will require no town or highway taxes, and town officials say it holds the line on spending while taking into account the rising price of fuel, decreased state funding and an expected lackluster county sales tax take.

It's a pretty austere budget, said Supervisor Patti Southworth at Thursday's meeting, where there was a public hearing before a unanimous vote.

The town did not include in the budget roughly $1 million of work that must be completed in Water District No. 2, though. The town's northern water tower is in need of repainting at a cost of $300,000 to $400,000, and to bring Saratoga County Water Authority water to the town, a pump station must be built at an estimated cost of $600,000.

It is likely that when those projects are tackled, users in the water district will absorb the cost, but financing is just one issue that must be addressed.

Last year " under the previous town board and supervisor " the town signed a contract to buy 375,000 gallons of water per day from the Saratoga County Water Authority for a period of 10 years, becoming the largest municipal buyer in the system. When Ballston's water contract with Glenville was extended in 2002, however, a clause allowing the town to withdraw was also removed. It effectively puts Ballston on the hook to buy 350,000 gallons per year from Glenville until 2022.

County water is to come cheaper, at $2.05 per 1,000 gallons as opposed to Glenville's rate of $2.35. But the booster pump station must be built near the intersection of Eastline Road and Route 67, first.

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