Village Trustees approve $1.46 million budget for 2018-19

The Stillwater Board of Trustees has unanimously approved a $1.46 million village budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which carries no property tax increase from the current year.

The village property tax rate will remain at $4.10 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2018-19. There is also no change in the water/sewer use rate village residents paid in 2017-18.

The budget vote March 20 followed a public hearing in which no one commented on the proposed spending plan. The new budget will go into effect on June 1.

“We are basically holding our position from this fiscal year to the next,” said Mayor Frank Tatum.

The newly-approved budget for 2018-19 totals $1,461,518 and breaks down as follows:

  • General Fund: $815,618 – up $22,182 from 2017-18
  • Water Fund: $312,500 – down $106,000 from 2017-18
  • Sewer Fund: $333,400 – down $13,000 from 2017-18

The major change to next year’s budget will be seen in the Water Fund, which has dropped significantly because the Town of Stillwater put in its own water supply system and no longer buys water from the village to serve District No. 1. Last year’s Water Fund budget was $418,500. Town and village officials signed a new 20-year water purchase agreement in January following two years of negotiations.

In other business March 20, village Trustees:

  • Authorized up to $27,000 for the Fire Department to purchase and install a new compressor system. The compressor will be used to fill the new high-pressure air pack bottles needed for fighting fires.
  • Discussed upcoming spring and summer road paving work, which would include all or parts of Lansing Avenue, Nielson Road, Russell Drive, Independence Row and Carpenter Place. The village would use New York State CHIPS money and budgeted funds to complete the projects.
  • Discussed the various connections need to hook up to village water and sewer service for the new bathrooms being constructed at the Stillwater Blockhouse, which is overseen by the Town of Stillwater.
  • Discussed how to use about $6,700 in budgeted money for village Parks and Recreation improvements, funds that must be expended by the end of the fiscal year on May 31. Among the ideas were repaving the basketball courts/ice rink area near the American Legion Post, sprucing up the playground area there, installing bocce ball courts and an overhead pavilion, and adding adult exercise equipment to Major Dickinson Children’s Park. No final decisions were made.
  • Approved up to $2,500 for the possible purchase of decorative banners for village light posts in lieu of live flowers, which are difficult to maintain during the summer.
  • Announced that the village is putting together an equipment inventory and replacement plan for the Department of Public Works and will present that plan at the April 17 board meeting.
  • Announced that NYSEG has approach the village about bringing in new technology to help supplement a transformer that gets overloaded during peak time usage times. A large lithium battery the size of a tractor-trailer container could be placed on a vacant lot somewhere in the village. The transformer would draw power for the battery during peak use periods so it does not overload, explained Trustee John Basile. No other details on the plan were available at this time.
  • Announced the official days and times for pickleball to be held in the new gym at the Stillwater Area Community Center. The village received a $1,500 Global Foundries/Stillwater Foundation grant last fall to purchase equipment for pickleball, a sport growing in popularity across the country. Pickleball times are Monday and Wednesday, 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, 6-8 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $3 per person, per day, and beginner lessons will be offered.