continued Koetzle disagreed with Quinn’s suggestion and said budgets are “forward looking documents” crafted for the worst-case scenario while hoping for the best. He said surpluses are not built into the budget and it would be “unwise” to reduce expenses.
“Over the past couple of years we have done a really good job at managing the budget,” Koetzle said. “We can’t go through and start cutting things … that is not how you budget.”
Deputy Supervisor Alan Boulant agreed and said the state needs to lower the amount of mandated expenses burdening the town.
“It is out of control and it is out of our hands,” Boulant said. “Our state elected officials need to do something about it.”
Koetzle also stressed the town’s continued reduction of fund balance usage. The budget calls for $700,000 in reserves spending, $145,000 less than in this year’s budget.
Moody’s Investors Services upgrade to the town’s general obligation bond rating to Aa3 from A1 earlier this year, and Koetzle said that supports the administration’s push to continue reducing fund balance usage. Moody’s said part of the town’s upgrade was due to reduced use of its reserves.
“The goal of this administration has to been to reduce that dependency on fund balance, so as you do that you have to start cutting back and we have,” Koetzle said. “We have done a good job at reducing that dependency.”
The preliminary budget was changed slightly from the tentative budget, which increased the tax levy increase by 3.4 percent.
Funding was restored to the requested amount for the Sewer Department’s equipment expenses, at $15,000. PILOT revenue budgeted from Target also had to be reduced by $32,000 because the agreement doesn’t affect next year’s budget. The town is also looking to bond for repairs to the Brookwood area drainage system.