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Warren County budget adopted

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Budget cuts made Tuesday include an across-the-board reduction of 10 percent in overtime. Other decreases stemmed from a recent demand to department heads to cut an additional 3 percent from their budgets to avoid layoffs -- and the executives responded with $385,000 or so in new decreases.

Budget reductions this year include hundreds of thousands of dollars slashed from county support to Warren County Cooperative Extension.

It was announced Friday that Extension Director James Seeley has volunteered to take a 20 percent pay cut to keep vital programs going for those of moderate income. The income tax preparation service that Extension offered last year might have to be scrapped, Supervisor Dan Girard said.

Seeley's voluntary pay reduction follows the voluntary pay cut by county Information Technology Director Robert Metthe, who offered to cut his pay voluntarily by 20 percent to save a job of one of his employees.

The county's last round of cuts, ready for approval today, includes eliminating the job of accomplished planner Laura Moore, a resident of Warrensburg.

The reduced budget also includes savings generated by the PBA union, representing the county sheriff's deputies delaying the deputies' 3.5 pay raise for six months. Other unions, including the CSEA, have not cooperated, and supervisors have said privately that such lack of consideration of taxpayers will have repercussions when their contracts expire.

A move to sell one of the sheriff's boat patrol boats was scrapped Friday after Queensbury Supervisor William VanNess reported that such an action may force the county to repay the $60,000 purchase cost although the boat is only worth about $10,000 now.

Monroe says, noting that Medicaid costs have increased about $1 million annually in recent years, and there's no end in sight. A resolution objecting to the ever-increasing costs was forwarded to the county Legislative Committee.

A meeting for 2 p.m. Monday has been set to formally set the budget, although the real budget the state will be accepting is the tentative one with today's amendments. The public is encouraged to attend and lend comment, but it will be too late to make any changes.

County officials said that January's tax bills may be mailed a little late because of problems determining the exact impact of salary and expense cuts in the budget.

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