Budget includes sale of Maplewood Manor

Spending plan pitches borrowing on home’s value, budgets for landfill revenue

— The budget proposal notes the County Board of Supervisors can stipulate that a buyer not evict current residents, but Hellwig did not think that will even be an issue.

“The facility needs to have clients,” he said. “I don’t believe someone would want to come in and take (it) over with empty beds.”

Given that Maplewood Manor has been valued at $13 million to $15 million, Hellwig said, the budget includes $6 million in revenue borrowed against the facility’s sale.

The landfill, meanwhile, has sat unused since being completed in Northumberland some 10 years ago. The county’s Public Works Committee has been working with a consultant to gather and evaluate proposals to operate or buy the landfill. Finch Paper LLC, New England Waste Services of New York Inc. and Capital Region Landfills, Inc., all submitted proposals to run the landfill, and the $4 million included in the budget reflects a possible one-time purchase price. The county could also stand to collect recurring payments from a buyer.

The total property tax levy is budgeted at $52 million, a $1.3 million increase over the 2012 levy. County leaders blamed unfunded mandates, particularly rising pension costs, which they said will increase by $1.7 million next year.

The county also expects to collect $110.7 million in local sales tax, which would be 3 percent more than what was projected in 2012. The sales tax rate would stay at 3 percent.

The budget continues the county’s hiring freeze and does not offer cost-of-living adjustments to management, confidential and elected employees, or union employees. Many unions are in the midst of negotiating collective bargaining agreements. For the fourth year, county supervisors will not see a raise — though this relates to their pay received from the county, and not from the local municipalities they represent.

Officials will present the tentative budget to the Law and Finance Committee on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. Supervisors have a budget workshop set for Thursday, Nov. 15, at 3 p.m., at which time they could modify the spending plan. There will be a public hearing on Dec. 3, and the final version of the budget is scheduled for a Dec. 12 adoption.

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