Nisky unveils tentative budget

"These increases are what is really driving the budget process to date and prevents us from doing other things that we might have wanted to do or things other town boards have done in the past," said Councilwoman Denise Murphy McGraw.

Landry said all equipment purchases were looked at in trying to find savings, along with reducing training costs. One town receptionist position has been eliminated, which carried a total cost of $25,901 in 2010. There is also one position in the highway department that has been eliminated through attrition.

"It is a tough year, and there is some tough choices," said Councilman John McKinney. "One of the big things is trying to avoid going into debt for things that are day-to-day operations."

McKinney said even with the sacrifices made, the town will still be able to provide the same service levels to residents.

Landry also said water and sewer fees will not increase because the drilling of four new wells has reduced the need to purchase water from other municipalities. He also noted the installation of new water meters has improved collections and resulted in more timely payments.

Landry has added funds for a new senior bus to the budget in response the residents' requests.

"We want to encourage our older adults and seniors to stay in Niskayuna, and I've made this my No. 1 priority for 2011," said Landry.

The bus will be used to take individuals to appointments, the senior center and shopping or recreation trips. Also, a part-time senior coordinator position was added to help expand programs offered to senior citizens in the town.

"Really what we have to get done to now is the horse-trading and sit down at a table with the people involved and say who gets something and who has to give something up," said McKinney.

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