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Warren Co. budget okayed, but more layoffs might occur

Warren County leaders warned this week that if their employees' unions don't agree to concessions, as many as 20 layoffs may be necessary due to ongoing financial constraints.

Warren County leaders warned this week that if their employees' unions don't agree to concessions, as many as 20 layoffs may be necessary due to ongoing financial constraints. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Westcott also called for the county airport’s budget to be slashed from $885,000, citing that the Saratoga County Airport —about the same size as Warren County’s — operates at about one-third the cost, or about $221,000 despite hosting more airplanes and more flights. He noted that for 2013, the Warren County Airport has been allocated $53,000 more in taxpayer money than it had been in 2012.

The $149.9 million spending plan, featuring a 1.99 percent increase in the county’s property tax levy, calls for reducing various expenditures in the face of ever-rising pension and health-care costs. In addition to trimming the county workforce, the budget draws money from its savings, and downsizes plans to repair its roadways.

The workforce reductions include laying off five people while reducing several other jobs from full-time to part-time. The layoffs are to occur in the county’s Public Works, Social Services, and Youth Bureau departments. The budget calls for a $39.98 million tax levy — an increase of $779,797 over 2012, and it estimates that the county will reap $3.7 million in sales tax revenue in 2013.

Expenses driving budget increase include $1 million in employee health insurance expenses, $1.1 million in state retirement plan premiums for county employees, and $141,363 in overtime costs.

The tax increase represents an additional $17 per $100,000 in property assessment.

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