GUILDERLAND The three pillars of the town of Guilderland — town government, the Guilderland Public Library and Guilderland Schools — were all topics of discussion in the second Guilderland State of The Town address at the Friday, Jan. 6, meeting of the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce.
Guilderland Town Supervisor Ken Runion described the state of the town as “stable and better times are ahead.” He explained that while the Town of Guilderland is in good shape, there are issues to be faced in 2012.
In 2009, sales tax revenue decreased to less than $10 million but has rebounded in 2011 to the $10 million mark, which has been the normal level. By comparison the property tax is approximately $800,000.
Runion highlighted accomplishments made in 2011, such as the streamlining of the zoning review process. He also touted a zero percent increase in employee salaries over the last two years, and a 20 percent reduction in the number of clerical employees since 2000.
“Property values in the town have been steady with a 1 percent to 2 percent increase over the past two years. This compares well with other areas that have seen property values decrease”, said Runion.
The town expects building activity to increase in 2012. Runion invited the Guilderland Chamber of Commerce and the business community to give their input to the Town Board.
Mark Grimm, whose term on the Town Board ended days ago, asked Runion a question about “NYS retirement appearing for the first time on my tax bill.”
“This is an increased mandate expense imposed upon the town by the state for employee pensions,” Runion replied.
Nick Seefeld, the Chamber’s chairman for the First Friday Breakfasts, introduced the next speaker, Superintendent of the Guilderland Central School District Marie Wiles.
Wiles expressed appreciation for the community's support in last May’s budget vote.