Nisky’s new fees not set in stone

Board passes budget with 3.4 percent tax hike, new revenues would require future laws

— Kasper later expressed concern over confusion on what the fee covered.

“I think that has been very confusing, because people really don’t know and I didn’t know, that’s why I had been asking and asking,” Kasper said. “A lot of people, including me, thought it would be loose leaf pick-up.”

McKinney said he thought the loose-leaf pick up was excluded from the proposed lawn debris fee after residents expressed concerns.

“I think when people called they decided they can’t go forward with their original proposal, so this is a backpedal, which is fine. I think this is how democracy works,” he said.

Landry said after the meeting the fee might not have been as clear as it should have been.

Kasper said fee increases worry her, but she was more comfortable with fee increases coming through resolutions. She added the board should be “transparent” when increasing fees, so residents know what is coming.

She said she knows the town needs money, but she thought there were better ways to get it.

Resident Lorene Zabin said she was concerned about the “lack of transparency” with the budget process. She said people don’t know when there are budget workshops or hearings.

“We’ve gotten so far away from a community of knowing what is going on in Town Hall without having to FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) or search the web 99 times before we leave to come to a meeting to be sure it’s what’s happening there,” said Zabin. “I think it is very important that people care where they are spending $13 million.”

She said she thought there was room for cutting in the budget without “jeopardizing police and things like that.”

No alternate proposal offered

Kasper said she presented the board members with an alternative proposal that would have increased fees for recreational programs to make up the $150,000 proposed to be raised from lawn debris pick up.

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