Altamont eyes $2M budget

Village holds first budget workshop, reviews department requests

— The Fire Department’s budget decreased by $10,000 in the tentative budget to nearly $113,000. Equipment and a miscellaneous budget line were each reduced by $5,000. Gaughan emphasized the department must attract more volunteer firefighters.

“I know the people that have the power are constantly creating training requirements that have really been a disincentive for volunteers to be able to put in the time,” Gaughan said.

He said the department needs to look at “shifting the paradigm” from paid to volunteer members.

The Altamont Free Library’s 2013 budget requests $41,200 from the village, which is a 3 percent increase, towards its nearly $100,000 spending plan. The village capital contribution would remain at $5,000.

“With the town’s stalwart support and long range vision, the library has finally moved into its location in the restored train station,” said Sally Dague, president of the library board of trustees, in a letter to the village board. “We realize times are tight and hope that after several years of flat funding you consider our request for an increase favorably.”

Dague said circulation and registrations have increased by “double digits” during the library’s first three months at its new home. August circulation totaled 2,690, with juvenile fiction and adult fiction as the two most popular categories.

Grant funding has increasingly become a focus of the library, with $30,000 allocated in its budget.

The Public Works budget remained relatively flat, with fire hydrants increasing by $500 and culture and recreation spending increasing by around $2,000. The department is currently one employee short, so a new hire is possible.

The village’s second budget workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. at Village Hall. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for the Tuesday, April 2, meeting.

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