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First look at Glenville’s budget woes

Koetzle: Staying under tax cap could be challenging

Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle discusses the town’s budget for 2012 during a budget forum on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Glenville Supervisor Christopher Koetzle discusses the town’s budget for 2012 during a budget forum on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Photo by John Purcell.

— “I know one dollar more (on a tax bill) is difficult … the thing we try to get across in the budget presentations is the majority of your tax bill is the county and the school,” said Koetzle. “For a very small percentage of your dollar you are getting services from your town you don’t get from the county.”

Dave Gallup, dispatcher for the Glenville Police Department, said he didn’t believe residents understand how much of their tax bill goes toward the town. The majority of a tax levy goes outside of town services.

Koetzle said discussing employees costs are a factor, which must be addressed in the budget.

“Wages are the biggest piece of our cost, there is no question about it,” he said. “For us not talk about wages, salaries and benefits we wouldn’t really be addressing the problem.”

Although he didn’t want to appear on the attack toward town employees, because he said he hopes to work with the three unions in town to achieve additional cost savings. He said he understands the town is already short staffed.

“We are not trying to paint a target on the employees at all, the services you provide are valuable and you do a fantastic job at it, but what we have to do is follow dollars, otherwise we are not addressing the cost,” said Koetzle.

Diminishing fund balance usage continued to be a driving point for Koetzle, similar to the current budget. His plan toreduce fund balance usage has set 2017 to have the town not using allocating any fund balance toward the budget to help balance expenses.

“Not a lot of towns are this dependent on this amount of money (from fund balance usage),” Koetzle said. “It is a dangerous practice.”

Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant said the town’s finance committee pointed the board to look at reducing fund balance usage and to whittle it down over time. Glenville has a higher residential tax burden than surrounding communities, which Koetzle said is 80 percent of the tax burden on residents. He said Niskayuna and Rotterdam have 60 percent of the tax burden on residents.

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