Town of Newburgh adopts $55.6 million budget

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 10/25/23

The Town of Newburgh Board approved and adopted the annual town budget of $55.16 million for 2024 on Monday, October 23. The town board also approved and adopted the town general and highway budgets …

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Town of Newburgh adopts $55.6 million budget


The Town of Newburgh Board approved and adopted the annual town budget of $55.16 million for 2024 on Monday, October 23. The town board also approved and adopted the town general and highway budgets and special district budgets for 2024 as presented following several required public hearings.

Town of Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio, prior to the public hearings, shared several remarks of recognition and thanks to the town board members, Town Accountant Ronald Clum, and all Town of Newburgh employees for their dedicated work that made the budget possible. Piquadio was also proud to announce that the town also received a financial stress score of zero, the best possible score achieved from the New York State Comptroller’s Office and also has a confirmed Moody’s AA2 bond rating.

“This proposed budget is a culmination of weeks of work, analyzing and reviewing historical data, trends, and current expenditures along with revenue trends over the past. The preparation of this budget was a joint effort between the Town Board, myself, the accountant’s office, as well as all Department Heads. The Town’s budget, which totals approximately $55.61 million, which is under the New York State-mandated tax cap by approximately $214,000. I am proud to say that the Town has never gone over this tax levy limit since its inception,” said Piaquadio. “This large increase in expenditures is due to us funding a $4.5 million dollar transfer to fund a portion of the new recreation building, equipment purchases of $1.9 million, medical insurance increases of roughly half a million, and new positions of $690,000. Most of these expenditures were covered by the recognition of COVID-19 funding from the federal government ($2.7 million) as well as the casino income of $3.9 million. We are seeing our other revenues coming back to pre-pandemic levels which also support with these increases. I am proud to say that the combined General and Highway Fund tax rate of $15.66 is the same as last year which represents a zero-tax increase to the Taxpayers for General and Highway Fund taxes. We have not had a property tax increase in several years.”

Piaquadio continued and said that this budget represented the leadership and the town’s dedication to delivering police protection, well maintained roads, timely public works services, enjoyable recreation opportunities, clean water, and other amenities. The focus was, as it has been in the past, to maintain essential services to the residents of the Town of Newburgh without a drastic increase in the tax rates.

Piaquadio also stated that the PBA Union will receive a negotiated 3.5% increase and the CSEA Union will receive a negotiated 3% increase. Nonunion employees, part-time employees, town board members, and the town supervisor will also receive a 3.5% increase.

The town will continue to maintain a total of 164 full-time employees and 101 part-time and seasonal employees. The budget enforces the town’s commitment to public safety with 49 budgeted full-time officers and 13 budgeted part-time officers along with continuing such programs as D.A.R.E.
Piaquadio clarified that if the budget were to pass as presented that evening, the town would be adding an additional police officer making it a total of 49 officers with benefits and other expenses amounting to $109,000. This officer addition to the police department does not affect the budget in any way, percentage wise, Piaquadio said.

The budget also provides for 27 full-time Highway Employees. Recreation programs remain unchanged with over 24 bus trips planned, operation of Dial-A-Bus, summer camps, and other special events throughout the year. The town will also continue to host programs at the Desmond Campus.

“The Town Board and I remain committed to constructing a 35,000 square foot recreation/senior center through grants and accumulated funds from developers into the Parkland Trust Fund,” said Piaquadio. “As I mentioned, this budget includes a $4.5 million transfer from the General Fund to the Recreation building fund which is covered by our COVID-19 money received from the Federal Government.”

After Piaquadio’s remarks, the public hearing on the general and highway fund was opened but no comments were made. The board closed the public hearing on that particular hearing and thus approved the general and highway budget for 2024 as presented.

Patrick Hines of MHE Engineering, in place of Town Engineer James W. Osborne, relayed the various district rates and other proposed changes to the board and public for their review and comments. Starting with the water districts, Water One for 2024 is $1.54 per 1000 of assessed value, which is an eight cent increase per 1000. Water Two (capital cost) is $2.66 per 1000 gallon, which is a 14 cent increase.

For water usage, the first zero to 7,500 gallons of water will be $26, a two dollar increase from last year. From 7,501 gallons to 17,500 gallons, it will be $4.96 per 1000 gallons, a 24 cent increase. From 17,501 gallons to 82,500 gallons, it will be $5.68 per 1000 gallons, a 28 cent increase per 1000. Over 100,000 gallons of water will be $6.74 per 1000 gallons, a 43% increase.

“The above rates represent a five and a quarter percent increase over last year’s rates,” said Hines. “The annual water costs for a single family, average single family house using 72,000 gallons per year at roughly 200 gallons per day would be $616.00 or $51.33 per month.”

The drainage district budgets are posted online for the public’s review but noted that all districts would see varying increases. The town has 15 individual drainage districts that have been formed. “The highest one is the Blue Sky District off of Rock Cut Road with a $63 increase. Those [increases] are based on the town’s contractual costs to do the operation and maintenance,” said Hines.

The Consolidated Sewer District usage is proposed to increase 70 cents per 1000 gallons to $6.94. The Meadow Hill South Sewer District will pay $3 per benefit unit. The current district has benefit charges. The Nob Hill Sewer District has a proposed usage increase of eight cents to $8.80 per 1000 gallons. The Roseton Hills Sewer District with a usage per flat rate cost per quarter of $162.50, which equals $650 per residential unit. The Roseton Hills district is 100 percent residential units, said Hines. For the Crossroads Sewer District, the annual sewer costs for an average single family home will be $500 or $41.67 per month.

“The Consolidated Lighting District would have a two cent increase to 50 cents per assessed value, the Lakeside Lighting District will remain the same at 60 cents,” said Hines. “The Fleetwood Lighting District is a $1.16 per 1000 assessed value, the West Orange Lake Lighting District is a $1.02 per 1000 assessed value, that’s a decrease of 33 cents per 1000. And the Colden Park Lighting District will have a rate of 63 cents per $1,000 assessed value.”

The town’s ambulance district rates will not see an increase heading into 2024, according to Hines. A separate road improvement district for Laurie Lane, a roadway, has been noted as being constructed by the town. The parcels within that district will be $408.81 per unit, which is a $9.27 cent decrease per unit cost.