County property tax hikes up to 24 percent predicted

Public Works Commissioner William Lamy said that regardless of cuts this year of hundreds of thousands of dollars to his operations - and DPW job cuts of nearly a dozen - the county's roads will remain as safe as they have in the past. This year, the county highway crews will have one person manning each snow plow, rather than a wingman onboard, as traditional.

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 appropriation cuts. Also, the county supervisors cut their own pay by 5 percent.

Two executives cut their own annual pay

Budget reductions earlier 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 intact 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 pay concession 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.

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