Altamont holds tax levy flat

Board adopts $2.1M budget, sewer fee increasing by $90 annually

— When it comes to budgeting, the sound of silence is music to the ears of elected officials.

The Village of Altamont’s 2013-14 budget is a masterpiece by those standards. No residents spoke during a public hearing on Tuesday, April 2, and the Board of Trustees passed a $2.1 million budget that increases spending by $140,000. Mayor James Gaughan saw the hearing as quiet approval of the budget.

“I used to say when I first got elected that the audience is made up of many people who I used to teach in school called ‘mathophobes,’” Gaughan said, “but now I’m changing my mind. It now means that you are pretty much OK with what you see there, not that you are afraid of the numbers.”

Village officials crafted the budget during the last two months and held two public budget workshops, Gaughan said. After hearing no comments during the public hearing, the board unanimously adopted the 2013-14 Budget.

“There is no increase in taxes from the village under this budget,” Gaughan said. “We were able to give all of our staff a cost of living increase of 2 percent … and it incorporates the fire department at the same budget as last year.”

The property tax levy isn’t increasing, but residents might notice a slight increase in their bills.

The 2012-13 tax rate was $2.7909 per $1,000 of property value, but the village’s taxable property was reduced and the 2013-14 tax rate will be $2.7940 per thousand.

Fund balance appropriations are also increasing in the village’s general fund by more than $25,000, and total $43,000. Sewer fund reserves allocation is increasing by more than $17,000 and totals around $111,000. Water fund reserve spending is to be reduced by more than $15,000 and totals around $57,000.

The total amount of the village’s reserve fund balances as of Feb. 28 was more than $900,000. Gaughan said the village has “slightly healthier” fund balance when compared to some neighboring areas due to its “strict fiscal constraints.”

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