By Albert Gilman
The Newburgh Town Board approved and adopted the Town and Special Districts Budgets for the 2023 Fiscal Year during their regular workshop meeting on Monday, October 24. The adopted budget amount of $47.8 million represents an increase of less than one percent which will remain under the tax cap by $216,000.
Town Supervisor Gil Piaquadio began the workshop meeting with a brief word of recognition to the town board, Town Accountant Ronald Clum and other additional town staff members for their work and dedication to preparing these financial reports for the board’s approval, focusing on no drastic tax increases. Piaquadio was also proud to announce that the town received a AA2 Bond Rating and received a financial stress score of 0.
“The preparation of this budget was a joint effort between the town board, myself, the accounting office, as well as all department heads,” said Piaquadio.“This budget represents the leadership and our dedication to delivering police protection, well maintained roads, timely public work services, enjoyable recreational opportunities, clean water and other amenities.”
Piaquadio continued by announcing that the combined General and Highway tax rate of $15.58 will be the same as the previous year, 2022. This represents a zero-tax increase to the town taxpayers for the general and highway fund tax.
Piaquadio continued and stated that contracts with the town’s Police Benevolent Association [PBA] and Civil Service Employees Association [CSEA] Unions have all been negotiated and ratified by the town, and contracts will see a 3 ½ percent increase. Non-union town employees will receive 3 ½ percent and the town supervisor and board members will receive a 3 ½ percent increase as well.
The salaries for various elected officials were shared with the public prior to the meeting Monday night: the Supervisor salary was listed at $127,353.35, the Deputy Supervisor salary at $10,109.76, the town councilman/woman salaries each at $34,693.40, the Town Clerk salary at $83,736.98, the Receiver of Taxes salary at $88,839.98 and both Town Justice’s salaries at $72,430.26.
Piaquadio also announced the following to the public: the town will continue to maintain 148 full-time and 53 part-time employees, 48 full-time and 13 part-time police officers were budgeted for this year, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education [DARE] program will be able to continue within this budget and the town’s budget also includes the continuation of 29 full-time highway employees.
With town recreation, the programs run by that department according to Piaquadio will remain in place with various trips, events and youth camps still running along with the Dial-A-Bus program. The town board also remains committed to bringing about the construction of a 35,000 square foot recreation center at Chadwick Lake through grant funding and other funding sources.
“My philosophy as well as the board’s has been ‘save for a rainy day’ and we strive to maintain a healthy fund balance,” said Piaquadio. “This philosophy has served us well and has allowed us to maintain a healthy financial position.”
A public hearing was held on the preliminary budget and following the closing of the hearing, the board unanimously voted and approved to adopt the budget.
Following the adoption of the budget, Piaquadio turned the meeting over to Town Engineer, James W. Osborne, who spoke on the town’s consolidated water district, three sewer districts, road improvement districts, lighting districts, drainage districts and the new ambulance district. A public hearing in accordance with the town was held and advertised for the public should they wish to comment.
Beginning with the town water districts, Water One and Two charges for the Consolidated Water District, which include Colden Park and Fleetwood, will remain the same according to Osborne. Water One will remain at $1.46 per $1,000 of assessed value and Water Two will remain at $2.53 per $1,000 of assessed value. With water usage charges, according to Osborne, they will increase for all customers.
On first 7,500 gallons used, residents will be charged $24. The next 10,000 gallons will be $4.72 per 1,000 gallons. The next 82,500 gallons will be $5.40 per 1,000 gallons, and any additional usage over 100,000 gallons per quarter will be charged $6.40 per 1000 gallons.
Osborne continued with announcing that benefit unit charges to the Crossroads Consolidated District were eliminated and benefit charges to the Meadow Hills South Sewer Service Area will remain the same at $3 per benefit unit.
Usage charges for the Crossroads Consolidated Sewer District, the Nob Hill Sewer District and the Roseton Hills Sewer District will increase according to Osborne. Crossroads usage charge will now be $6.24 per 1,000 gallons, Nob Hill usage charges will be $8.72 per 1,000 gallons and Roseton Hills usage charges will be $596 per residential unit.
For the lighting districts, Osborne stated all lighting district charges will increase for 2023. The Consolidated Lighting District will increase to $0.48 per $1,000 of assessed value, the Lakeside district will increase to $0.60 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, the Fleetwood district will increase to $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed value, the West Orange Lake district will increase to $1.35 per $1,000 of assessed value and the Colden Park district will increase to $0.63 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.
With the new ambulance district, Osborne stated that this will be a new charge on all the town residents’ tax bills except for those who live in the Plattekill Fire District. “These new charges will be 41 cents per $1,000 of assessed value,” said Osborne.