Rotterdam tax hike under 2 percent

Supervisor proposes no layoffs, reducing fund reserves usage

— “Then we went over, dollar by dollar, line by line, and looked for more,” Buffardi said. “We kept wringing out this sponge in an attempt to get money out of it.”

There is no money allocated for paving in the budget, he said, with the town solely relying on funding from the state DOT’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS).

Buffardi said he is “sure it will” provide some difficulties for town paving, but he said it is a measure to help control costs.

The police department, the town’s most expensive department, totals almost $5.5 million in the tentative budget, about $80,000 less than in this year’s modified budget.

As Buffardi tries to control costs, he also wants to the to get away from the town’s “addiction of raiding fund balances.”

Fund balance usage in the general fund falls at $300,000, with no highway reserves being tapped. Reserves from special districts would have the town using more than $315,000. In 2012, the previous administration used less than $1.17 million from all fund reserves. In 2011, fund balance usage totaled almost $1.7 million.

Earlier this year, the town comptroller and financial consultant John Paolino presented a Five Year Financial Forecast for the town covering 2013-17. The recommended fund balance usage from the general fund was only $200,000 each year, with highway reserves set at $50,000 allocated annually.

“If you look at your budgets … your budgets are not balanced, they are far from it,” Paolino said at the time. “You are balancing your budget by applying fund balance.”

There are some instances in the 2013 tentative budget where department requests are exceeded in the proposed spending plan, but the overall budget is more than $175,000 under what had been requested. The tentative budget is about $208,500 more than the comptroller’s recommendations.

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