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Niskayuna town board approves budget

Landry said that the budget anticipates rising materials costs, such as fuel, salt and paving materials, as well as contractual services that will result in additional expenses to the town.

Councilwomen Diane O'Donnell and Maria Freund voted against the budget, asking for more money for maintenance and improvements to the town's infrastructure.

"I believe we need to be realistic about projecting revenues and we need to hold the line whenever we can about expenditures," said O'Donnell, adding, "At this time, I do not support the creation of any new positions in any department.

Councilwoman Liz Orzel Kasper said she was confused about the reasoning behind their vote.

"I'm sitting here totally confused. The public wants lower taxes, and I have two council people who want higher taxes for improvements for highway and water and sewer," said Kasper. "I'm confused that they're voting against a 5 percent budget increase because of recreation that we've been told doesn't cost money, yet they think it's too expensive. That is so confusing to me."

Landry said he believes the budget balances the need to provide the best possible services to Niskayuna's residents, while recognizing the fiscal situation that the town and all of the residents are facing.

"It is never easy to vote for a tax increase," said Landry.

"As I try to balance these competing interests, I believe that the budget before us tonight does just that. I believe that it is important to put this tax increase into perspective. A homeowner who owns a home today that costs approximately $300,000, will pay approximately $640 for town taxes, and assuming no other changes, this homeowner would notice less than a $20 tax increase from this year to last year.".

The next Niskayuna Town Board Meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m.""

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