Budget worries in Moriah

PORT HENRY - Moriah faces a very difficult budget process for 2010.

Supervisor Tom Scozzafava told his town board to be prepared for tough times ahead as they prepare the 2010 town spending plan.

"We're going to be looking at a very tough budget year because of costs we have no control over," he said. "Our revenues are down significantly and costs are up."

The tentative town budget will be submitted at a special board meeting Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. in the town hall at Park Place in Port Henry.

Scozzafava said town income from the Bulwagga Bay campground and trash transfer station is down from previous years. He also pointed out town revenue from sources such as mortgage tax are down.

At the same time, he said, workers compensation is expected to increase 7-12 percent, employee health insurance will increase and town contributions to employee retirement plans will go up next year.

There will also be other increases in spending such as pay increases for employees, higher energy costs and other items, he said.

The 2009 Moriah budget increased local taxes 6.3 percent.

It totals $3,889,725. That's $158,317 - 4.2 percent - more than the 2008 spending plan of $3,731,408.

The amount of local tax raised in the 2009 preliminary budget was $1,964,066. That's $117,437 - 6.3 percent - more than the 2008 tax levy of $1,846,629.

The town board made several cuts in the 2009 budget.

A part-time police officer position was eliminated, saving $12,500.

The town attorney position was eliminated in 2009. There were also cuts in street lighting, sidewalk and bridge funds. Each cut was $5,000.

The town board also decided to eliminate bussing for the summer youth recreation program. That move saved $2,300.

The salary of the deputy supervisor was also cut, from $1,658 to $658.

The 2009 budget also included 3 percent pay raises for the town supervisor, who did not receive a pay hike in 2008, the town clerk and the highway superintendent.

Town councilmen, assessors, justice and code enforcement officer did not see a pay raise in 2009.

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