Amended budget introduced

Changes drop tax levy hike to 1.6 percent

— “The 47 positions will be achieved through a combination of retirements and existing vacancies,” said Hellwig. “This should limit actual layoffs of between zero to four employees depending on additional vacancies and retirements by the end of the year.”

Maplewood Manor has been scrutinized by the county because it loses about $10 million a year. The board recently made a controversial decision to privatize the nursing home and formed a local development corporation to seek a company with which to form an agreement.

Town of Ballston Supervisor Patti Southworth raised concerns about Maplewood Manor, saying because the amended budget anticipates that deal and plans to borrow money based on the equity of the nursing home building.

“How can they borrow funds when they haven’t even had their first meeting?” asked Southworth. “Saratoga County can’t borrow money against a public entity, but an LDC can.”

Another highlight of the amended budget is in sales tax. Receipts are budgeted at $110.7 million, a 3 percent increase over last year’s budget. The highway fund’s budget was also reduced by $5.6 million from the 2012 budget, or a 24 percent change. Southworth questioned that decision.

We have been cutting the highway budget for several years now,” she said. “The highway infrastructure and bridges are starting to get in questionable condition. You should never play catch up with something that impacts peoples’ lives like bridges and highways.”

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