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LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees voted unanimously last week to approve the village budget for fiscal year 2009-10.

Village Mayor Craig Randall noted the budget contained just a few alterations following a June 16 public hearing. Those changes included an additional $4,800 for parking permits - which had been under budgeted - and a shift of about $2,000 in salary for an employee who was receiving funds from the wrong department.

The board also decided to finance a new fire truck over a five year period, to lessen the burden on the Town of North Elba. The vehicle costs $100,000.

Randall said the adopted budget is more detailed than in year's past.

"Trustee Dave Jones said during the meeting that this budget got an exhaustive review this year which may be typical of the change of personnel on the board," he said. "He indicated that this was perhaps the best budget presentation that he's experienced in his years, I was thrilled to hear him say that because he's the only member left from prior years that would know that."

The budget totals $5.1 million, and contains a slight spending increase of 1.45 percent or $73,000. Randall lamented the costs of various employee benefits, which represents a large portion of the budget.

"But that's hard to control," he said.

The budget contains $115,000 in worker's comp, $225,000 in retirement and $685,000 for employee health insurance - a number that rose 13.5 percent. Randall said he was advised to increase health benefits by 15 percent, but he held his ground.

"At the present time this budget accommodates all the contractual requests that we have and the benefit costs that we know about," Randall said. "For example the health insurance has a 13.5 percent increase factored into 2010 budget. I hope that's not the case but at least our advisors are telling us that's what we need to plan for."

Randall said the board tried to eliminate as much cost as possible.

"We did eliminate the majority of equipment purchases this year, and hopefully we'll get through the year without needing something that we put off," he said.

After the meeting, Randall said he was pleased with the process and admired the attention to detail Village Treasurer Peggy Mousaw put into the process.

"I really wish more people would come to these meetings," he said. "I have a much greater appreciation for the effort put forth on items like the budget."

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