The town's 2011 adopted budget reached $11.7 million and included a residential tax increase of 4.7 percent. A total of $1.1 million was used from the town's fund balance and the budget held an increase around $200,000 in appropriated expenses from 2010. Fund balance usage dropped also dropped by $200,000 in 2011 compared to 2010.
Despite the tough economical situation, Koetzle stressed continuing to reduce fund balance usage. At the end of this year, he said, it is estimated the town will have $2.3 million in its fund balance. At the end of 2010 there was around $3.1 million on the fund balance.
"We should have a healthy fund balance as we've become dependent on that, it has become harder and harder to use a fund balance to offset tax increases," he said. "We should have about $1.4 million to use in fund balance."
The board in last year's budget didn't seek layoffs, but this year that could change.
"Last year I said, 'Layoffs are off the table.' This year, layoffs are clearly on the table. There is no way of doing this without talking about that. There is no way to do it without examining where we need to go and what we need to do to stay in this cap," he said.
Koetzle said the town's economic troubles weren't created by the current board, but by the previous administration. He said previous town officials made no investment in capital improvements for years and relied too heavily on the fund balance while experiencing decreased revenues from a bad economy.
Koetzle said the board might ask employee unions if contracts could be opened to try to realize additional cost savings in the hopes of saving jobs.
Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant said the private sector has had to do more with less for some time, and the public sector has to follow suit.
"It is an unfortunate situation. These were the cards that were dealt to us. We had no doing in this, but unfortunately we are left to resolve this," said Boulant. "We are going to have to do it as painless as possible, but it is going to be painful for everybody."
Councilwoman Gina Wierzbowski said the board works together well and it tries to do the best for the town and the employees. She urged the board to be in partnership with the employees to try to find ways to reduce expenses.""