Johnsburg Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed talked about the new budget with some visual aids at an Oct. 26 special meeting.
The highway budget gets a $5,000 summer and $5,000 winter increase, with another $30,000 earmarked for new equipment.
A problem began in the highway department in 1995, when a large fire destroyed much of the department's equipment. The machines have aged at the same rate, meaning they need big repairs and replacements at the same time. Goodspeed said new purchases should be staggered so the highway fleet doesn’t have that problem again.
Emergency Medical Services are another essential. The EMS squad had to take over ownership of the service vehicles recently. The title to the fleet was held by the town, at a favorable interest rate paid for by the town. Switching over to owning their vehicles made the squad take a nearly $15,000 hit, said Goodspeed. He’s allocated a $5,000 bump to help, “as an acknowledgement of their services.”
The fire department, in the midst of contract negotiations with the town, will see an increase in the coming year and a shift of some funding from the North Creek district to the five-hamlet Johnsburg district.
He’s also made a town revaluation a priority, with a town bookkeeping position going to part time so another part-time position can open in the assessor’s office. That office will also get a $5,000 budget bump for the reval effort.
Goodspeed is opposed to touching the highway FEMA funds, and anti-borrowing. Only borrowing proposals with specific dollar amounts for specific projects should be considered, he said. Getting the town out of debt during his tenure as supervisor is an accomplishment Goodspeed would like to see stand.
Goodspeed also said he wants to make sure the shuttle can grow. People criticize the spending, and say it focuses too much on tourists, but Goodspeed said “those tourist dollars are what help fund this budget.”
Local employees are beginning to use the shuttle to get to work, and Goodpseed wants the town to cooperate with the Business Alliance to make the shuttle useful to all.