Special Board Of Trustees Budget Meeting March 25, 2008

The Village Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Tuesday, March 25 at 7:30pm. Trustee Hansen was absent.

The main purpose of the special meeting was the presentation of the tentative budget for fiscal year 2009. The budget is composed of two parts: the Operating Budget and the newly proposed Capital Expenditure Budget. The tentative Capital Expenditure Budget encompasses a 4-year time period from 2009 to 2012 and will be used to fund major, long-term infrastructure repairs within the Village, specifically improvements to the water system, sewer system and dams. Rather than attempting to fund these extensive and costly projects with revenues from the current year’s Operating Budget, Trustee Darby proposes long term financing in the capital market. A budget for the Water Fund, with no rate increase, was also presented.

Download your copy of the budget here.

Following a brief overview from Trustee Darby, Trustees were encouraged to ask questions and/or voice any concerns they might have with the proposed budget.

Trustee Shaw commented that she was disappointed to discover that funds have not been allocated for a Lakes Management Plan. With the permission of the Board, the Environmental Advisory Committee put a tremendous amount of time and effort into preparing an RFP for the position of Lake Manager. Two bids, ranging from $60,000 to $96,000 have been received. Through meetings with various State Agencies, the committee has determined that the Village may qualify for grant money, which would help to shoulder the burden of expense. However, these funds are time sensitive and the Village must act relatively quickly if they hope to attain them. Trustee Shaw along with Trustee Worthy expressed their desire to see a line for these expenses added in to the tentative budget.
Mayor Stebbins and Trustee Darby responded that to date neither of them had seen an official cost analysis or bid information with regard to the project. Without this detailed information, they were unable to add the project into the tentative budget. Furthermore, they both feel that the Committee should make a presentation to the BOT, which clearly outlines the project and all that it will entail. Mayor Stebbins went on to comment that extra funds have been allocated to “contingency” and that this was done specifically for issues such as this one, where there is not currently enough information with which to properly put together a budget. He assured both Trustee Shaw and Trustee Worthy that the issue was not being ignored despite not having appeared as a line item on the tentative budget. Trustee Darby commented that a lakes management plan will certainly be an on-going, long-term project and as a result it might be more appropriate to fund it from the Capital Expenditure Budget.

While discussing the Capital Expenditure Budget, Trustee Worthy commented that the Village should seriously consider allocating funds for the burying of utility lines. While such an undertaking is quite costly, she argued that the price will surely not decline over time and that it may be more cost effective to investigate burying wires at a time when roads are being opened up for other major infrastructure repairs such as water and sewer lines.

There will be a Public Hearing for the Preliminary Budget on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 7:30pm.

Following budget discussions, Mayor Stebbins made a resolution to amend local introductory law #3 with regard to payment of escrow monies for Village Consultants’ fees for applicants seeking Board reviews. The proposed amendments will allow Board Chairmen to waive escrow fees of $100 or less for single item Applicants provided there is unanimous agreement between the Building Inspector and Board Chairman and that no consultant fees are incurred.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of the amendment.

Finally, The Board discussed the Weewah Fishing Club License Agreement. Mayor Stebbins gave a brief summary of the agreement, the terms of which include a modest, $300 license fee, and a possible increase in insurance coverage. Members of Tuxedo’s three Volunteer Fire Companies (Town of Tuxedo, Eagle Valley and Sterling Forest) as well as the Volunteer Ambulance Corps are eligible for membership in the Club however membership will be limited to include only previous members. Of these, no more than70 can be non-Village residents. Club members must accompany their guests at all times. The club may maintain no more than 6 boats, all of which must be stream cleaned appropriately before entering the lake.
The Board voted unanimously in favor of the two year agreement, subject to some minor modifications.

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