Village Board passes 2014-15 budget with no tax increase

The Stillwater Board of Trustees unanimously approved a $1.77 million village budget Tuesday night (April 15) that holds the line on property taxes and water rates for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The new budget totals $1,775,330 and breaks down as follows:

  • General Fund: $745,650 – a projected increase of $38,200 from 2013-2014
  • Water Fund: $664,790 – a projected increase of $13,763 from 2013-2014
  • Sewer Fund: $364,890 – a projected decrease of $340 from 2013-2014

Click here to view the entire 2014-15 budget document

Despite the overall budget to budget increase from 2013-2014, the village will use some of its fund balance to keep the property tax rate the same for the new fiscal year at $3.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. The water usage rate for village residents will also remain unchanged at $4.12 per 1,000 gallons. The total amount to be raised by property taxes to balance the general fund in 2014-2015 is $290,703.

“It’s a good budget,” said Mayor Ernest Martin.

Village Trustees also heard the following reports/updates and took the following actions on April 15:

  • Trustees passed the village’s annual reorganizational resolution naming various positions and responsibilities for the new fiscal year, committee appointments and Village Board meeting dates for the new year.
  • Trustees held a public hearing on a new “Best Value Procurement Law” – Local Law No. 2 of 2014 – for purchase contracts and contracts for services. New York State has historically required municipalities to award these contracts to the lowest bidders whose bids meet the requirements of the specifications for a project. That section of state law has since been amended to enable municipalities, who pass new local laws, to award bids based on “best value.” Best value means the basis for awarding purchase contracts and services to the offerer that optimizes quality, cost and efficiency, among responsive and responsible offers.
  • Trustees voted to purchase a new Caterpillar excavator for the Department of Public Works at a price not to exceed $110,000. The purchase will be bonded over a five-year period. The manufacturer’s price of the machine is $145,700 said Trustee Timothy Campbell, but the village was able to save more than $35,000 on the purchase by “piggybacking” on a bid awarded to another municipality in Arizona through what is known as a “cooperative purchase agreement.” The machine will be used by DPW crews for large projects the village has been forced to pay contractors to do in the past such as installing fire hydrants and repairing water main breaks. “It’s going to save us a lot of money in the long run,” said Campbell, who researched and recommended the purchase.
  • Trustees also approved a list of fire department officer and administrative appointments for the 2014-15 year following department elections this month. They also set the annual fire department inspection date for May 17, and continued to discuss the department’s bylaw revisions that will now be reviewed by the village attorney.
  • Code Enforcement Officer Lawrence Allen reported that the new fuel tanks for the Stillwater Stewart’s Shop have been “set and approved,” and the project should be completed soon. Stewart’s presented plans to the Village Board in January to expand its lot on Hudson Avenue to improve traffic flow and allow better access to the gas pump areas.